Md. Senate approves alcohol tax increase

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Senate has voted 27-19 to increase the state's alcohol tax by 3 percentage points over three years to 9 percent.

Eleven Republicans and eight Democrats voted against the bill on Wednesday. The measure now goes to the House of Delegates. Analysts estimate the increase would raise about $29 million in the next fiscal year. It would raise $58 million in the following year and $85 million in the third year.

The measure would steer $9 million more in education funding to Prince George's County and $12 million to Baltimore. Supporters say the extra money is a one-time adjustment to make up for shortfalls under state funding formulas. But critics question why those systems should reap so much from a statewide tax.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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