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Plan Doubles Alcohol Tax for Economic Development,Downtown Indy

The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing at the statehouse this morning on a plan to double alcohol taxes statewide to fund economic development across the state. In Marion County, that money would fund shortfalls for the downtown Indianapolis Convention Center, Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium. But Committee Chairman Republican Senator Luke Kenley of Noblesville says the tax increase outside Marion County will go back to communities statewide, and so, is an acceptable move to help all cities and towns.

“You always approach the idea of raising taxes with trepidation. This tax, I think when you look at the tax, the tax that we’re going to is actually a lower rate tax than it would have been in 1981 and so we feel comfortable with it.”

The alcohol tax increase means a two cent hike on shots, one cent on three ounces of wine, and one cent on 12 ounces of beer. But the plan overall gives an addition six million dollars from state coffers specifically to Indianapolis. The measure faces an uphill battle, with Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard refusing to endorse the alcohol tax increase for his city. Likewise, neither the Indiana Pacers nor the Indianapolis Colts have committed to their ten million dollar share of the proposed solution specifically for Marion County. However, Kenley says he believes the measure has the votes it needs to get out of committee today, then move to a full Senate vote.

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