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Sample Letter #7- Alcohol Tax



Your Address
Your City ST 12345

Dear Representative/Senator:
I am writing to ask that you oppose any reductions in federal excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, and decline co-sponsorship of bills promoted by the beer and liquor industries to substantially reduce excise taxes on those products (beer tax rollback bill H.R. 52, and any bill that may be introduced to reduce liquor taxes). For the following reasons, such legislation is bad public health and fiscal policy:

The economic and social costs of drinking already far exceed alcohol tax revenues. Federal tax revenues from alcoholic beverages totaled nearly $7.7 billion in 2001, while according to a government report the cost to society was estimated at $184 billion in 1998. Now is not the time to sacrifice important revenues when the federal deficit is projected to soar to near record levels of $200 to $300 billion in the next two years.

Lowering taxes on alcoholic beverages will help stabilize or reduce prices, making those products more available to underage drinkers. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has confirmed the link between alcohol prices and the quantity and frequency of youth drinking, as well as the link between prices and the rate of teen auto-crash fatalities. Slashing taxes on alcoholic beverages – particularly beer – could lead to 600 more teen deaths per year in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Despite an increase in 1991, alcohol taxes are low by historical standards. Due to inflation, both the rates and revenues have dwindled dramatically over the past 50 years. Adjusted for inflation, alcoholic beverages are actually at least 25% cheaper today than they were in 1951.

By wide margins, the American public supports increases – not decreases – in alcohol taxes. That's because more than 35% don’t drink at all and among those who do, most drink so little that they would barely notice a tax decrease (or increase). Alcohol tax cuts would benefit only producers and their heaviest drinking customers, the 20% of drinkers who consume 85% of the alcohol. The vast majority of adult drinkers (75%) average just 5 drinks per week and account for only 13% of adult consumption.

Alcohol producers are prospering, and despite assertions that the tax cuts would benefit consumers, they have not hesitated to raise prices periodically to maximize profits. They aren't concerned about ordinary consumers because they know that most of their revenue comes from the least price-sensitive heavy drinkers, who are either addicted or potentially in trouble with alcohol.

Please put the best interests of public health and safety and the young people of America ahead of alcohol companies' profits and the pocketbooks of their heavy-drinking best customers. I hope you will reject all efforts to reduce federal taxes on alcoholic beverages and consider ways to increase them instead. Thank you for your consideration and reply.

Sincerely,

Your Name Here







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VASenator_John_Warner,VASenator_George_Allen,VTSenator_James_Jeffords,VTSenator_Patrick_Leahy, WASenator_Maria_Cantwell,WASenator_Patty_Murray,WISenator_Herb_Kohl,WISenator_Russell_Feingold, WVSenator_Robert_Byrd,WVSenator_John_Rockefeller,WYSenator_Craig_Thomas,WYSenator_Michael_Enzi, The public's increasing use of e-mail plus anthrax anxiety pushed the volume of e-mail going to Congress up by 50 percent during 2001, according to the Congressional Management Foundation. House and Senate offices received about 120 million e-mail messages this year, up from 80 million in 2000, according to a survey by the foundation and the Congress Online Project. Because of the discovery of anthrax in Capitol Hill offices and mail rooms, delivery of U.S. mail to all House office buildings was temporarily suspended. All incoming mail to the Capitol complex now undergoes irradiation for possible contaminants, a process which slows the delivery of mail.That means that any constituent who sends a letter to my Washington office may experience a significant delay in response. Anyone who would like to contact me may do so via phone, email or through one of my district offices.Be advised that mail coming to my Washington D.C. office will have delays, as our mail continues to be screened due to last year's anthrax letters. If you need immediate assistance please contact my District Offices.The enacting clause was prescribed by law in 1871 and is identical in all bills, whether they originate in the House of Representatives or in the Senate. Bills may originate in either the House of Representatives or the Senate with one notable exception provided in the Constitution. of the Constitution provides that all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives but that the Senate may propose or concur with amendments. By tradition, general appropriation bills also originate in the House of Representatives.There are two types of bills -- public and private. A public bill is one that affects the public generally. A bill that affects a specified individual or a private entity rather than the population at large is called a private bill. A typical private bill is used for relief i n matters such as immigration and naturalization and claims against the United States. A bill originating in the House of Representatives is designated by the letters "H.R." followed by a number that it retains throughout all its parliamentary stages. The letters signify House of Representatives and not, as is sometimes incorrectly assumed, House resolution. A Senate bill is designated by the letter S. followed by its number. The term companion bill is used to describe a bill introduced in one House of Congress that is similar or identical to a bill introduced in the other House of Congress.A bill that has been agreed to in identical form by both bodies becomes the law of the land only after --Presidential approval; or failure by the President to return it with objections to the House in which it originated within 10 days while Congress is in session; or the overriding of a presidential veto by a two-thirds vote in each House.Congressional Record.