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Group Seeks Alcohol Tax To Fund Care For Mentally Ill, Others

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RALEIGH — Advocates for some of North Carolina's most vulnerable people say an organized campaign by the state's beer, wine and liquor industry will sidetrack their efforts to get more money.

A group called Coalition 2001 is urging passage of a bill that would establish a trust fund to provide more services for people with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders.

"And it's not like you can just hire anybody to help or get a babysitter. These children require extraordinarily specialized care," says parent Linda Linbeck.

The bill calls for increased taxes on beer, wine, and liquor. It would raise $95 million a year.

Coalition 2001 says this would cost another 3-cents per can of beer, 15-cents per liter of wine, and a 12-percent hike in the tax on liquor.

The North Carolina Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association

says it is totally unfair to place the burden on one industry and consumers.


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