Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Alcohol Causing $51 Million in Hospital Costs, Report Says.(New Mexico)

Byline: Jackie Jadrnak Journal Staff Writer

State's Liquor Tax Brings $35 Million

Alcohol's health costs in New Mexico in 1998 totaled at least $51 million and that's just counting hospital bills, according to a report released this week by the state Department of Health.

In comparison, the state's tax on beer, wine and liquor sales raises about $35 million.

But the department isn't necessarily backing an increase in the state's alcohol taxes, according to Glenn Wieringa, a public health administrator who specializes in alcohol policy. However, he expects a bill to be introduced that would increase such taxes.

"The income from the product is exceeded by the costs of the product," he said. …

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