A New York City alcohol tax?

January 8, 2008 8:32:08 PM PST
An assemblyman from Brooklyn is proposing a 25 cent tax on every alcoholic beverage sold in New York. Democrat Felix Ortiz says the so-called "sin tax" would help cut down on underage drinking.

Eyewitness News reporter Joe Torres has the story.

A bottle of wine, a six-pack of beer and a flask of liquor all fall under a new proposal by Ortiz.

Money raised by the new tax would fund alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs aimed at underage drinkers.

Carmen Calderin is a community aide for Assemblyman Ortiz.

"This is a problem affecting our teenagers and a lot of teenagers are consuming alcohol earlier and earlier," Calderin said.

Not far from the assemblyman's Sunset Park office is the Green Isle Inn, where Mickey McDonagh has worked the bar for 38 years.

"He should be ashamed of himself. Tell him to stop the kids from smoking pot and putting dope in their nose," McDonagh said.

"Children are going to do whatever they want. You could put $100, $150. It's not gonna stop children. When they are out to do something, they're out to do it," said bar patron Luis Vaszuez.

The assemblyman's proposal is only in the draft stage, meaning it still has a long way to go before it becomes law.

And with many Republicans opposing any type of tax increase, the idea may never materialize.