LANSING – Governor Jennifer Granholm’s proposed tax increase on distilled spirits products would be a severe blow to Michigan’s hospitality industry, leaving 1,700 hospitality workers unemployed and costing the state $10 million in tax revenue, according to an economic analysis by the Distilled Spirits Council. “The Governor says she wants to improve the state’s economy but this plan will only put more Michigan workers on the street,” said Cathy Pavick, Executive Director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association. “An alcohol tax is really just a tax on the hospitality industry. Waitresses, bartenders, cooks and small business owners will suffer.” Under the governor’s proposal, the state would increase the “mark-up” on spirits from the current 65% to 74%, amounting to an additional 9% tax for consumers. Dave Holliday, Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council, noted that Michigan already has one of the highest taxes in the region, with half the price of a typical bottle of spirits going to taxes and fees. “Michigan’s beverage alcohol taxes are already about twice as much as those in Indiana,” said Holliday. “If Michigan raises its tax even higher, consumers will cross the border to shop and dine, which would drain Michigan’s tax revenues even more.” Radio Ad Campaign Blasts Governor’s Plan The Distilled Spirits Council is working in coalition with hospitality organizations in Michigan, including the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA), to oppose higher taxes on distilled spirits. As part of the effort, a radio advertising campaign has been launched to highlight the negative effects of the proposed tax hike on the hospitality industry. “It’s time to tell the politicians in Lansing no more hospitality taxes,” a concerned waitress says in the radio ad. “We’ve already lost enough jobs in Michigan