On July 21, I read the front-page article, "A Tax on Sins," with dismay. On July 23, I read the editorial endorsing this tax with disbelief.
In New York State alone, there are about 20,000 licensees selling beverage alcohol. Our industry employs 146,000 people, annually generating $10.5 billion in total business revenue, $3.4 billion in annual wages and $676 million in state and local taxes. These figures are staggering. Yet I see no mention in the editorial where anyone contacted any local tavern owners to ascertain the impact this tax will have on their businesses.
The editorial said ". . . if the tax encouraged moderation with alcohol and tobacco, so much the better." Sorry guys, you can't have it both ways. If you want to continue plucking the "Golden Goose," you have to stop killing it.
Financial studies have shown that taxes increase revenue only in the short term (one to three years) and then the revenue bottoms out. What will Erie County do then? Perhaps they can levy a "sin tax" on doughnuts, red meat or hot dogs -- foods that promote heart attacks.
I find it ironic that the Buffalo Bills organization is aggressively pursuing the prosecution of tavern owners for showing Bills games via satellite but then expects those same individuals to collect the money to rebuild the stadium and keep the team in Buffalo.
Owner, Better Days Bar & Grill