DOVER – The Distilled Spirits Council today launched a radio ad across Delaware assailing a proposed 50% alcohol tax increase on beer, wine and spirits.  The ad points to the hypocrisy of legislators spending millions of dollars toward boosting tourism, while at the same time proposing devastating taxes on tourism-related businesses and their workers.

“The Legislature is trying to quietly sail through a massive alcohol tax hike that is going to hurt consumers and businesses alike,” said Distilled Spirits Council Vice President Jay Hibbard.  “This ad gets the word out that this tax increase will cost hundreds of jobs in the hospitality industry among those least able to afford it.”

A recent Council economic analysis found that a 50% spirits tax increase would lead to a decline in state economic output of more than $22 million and destroy 330 hospitality sector jobs.  In 1997, state legislators took the opposite approach and actually grew Delaware’s economy by decreasing the spirits tax rate.  By cutting the tax rate, the Legislature generated more business and ultimately created 200 jobs.  Hibbard noted that this 50% tax hike will have a ripple effect throughout the state’s already struggling hospitality and tourism industry.

“This tax increase will create a domino effect in the hospitality industry resulting in lost jobs and businesses throughout the state among hospitality workers such as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and other hospitality employees,” Hibbard said.

To listen to the radio ad, click here.

Ad script below:

Music/SFX:  Restaurant/bar ambient noise

Waitress:      Isn’t it amazing that on one hand politicians spend millions of our tax dollars to promote hospitality and tourism throughout Delaware — then with the other hand slap us with a new hospitality tax – a 50% tax increase on wine, beer and spirits.

I’m a waitress, and I can tell you that this tax hike will drive our customers away and into Maryland, or it will keep those in Pennsylvania from crossing the border.  Hundreds of people just like me — waitresses, waiters, bartenders and others in the hospitality industry – hundreds of local folks are going to lose our jobs.

That’s the real impact of allowing their tax increase. They get more of your money to spend, and we lose our jobs.  All of this is happening behind closed doors and without public debate.

The Hospitality industry shouldn’t have to bail out the spending problems created by government.  Our politicians think they should.

Call your state legislators and tell them to lay off the hospitality industry – because that’s the best tip you could give me today.

Announcer: This message brought to you by the Distilled Spirits Council on behalf of Delaware’s Hospitality Industry.