One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Dime

A fee that amounts to about 10 cents per beer will be the subject of a health committee hearing Tuesday at the state Capitol.

The fee would be levied on distributors. Retailers can then pass the costs on to consumers.

It amounts to 10 cents for a 12-ounce beer, 1.5 ounces or distilled spirits and 5 ounces of wine.

Revenue would be used to create a program to help pay for alcohol-related deaths, illnesses, injuries and crime. The program would be administered by the state Department of Alcohol and Drugs.

"It's actually assessed on the distributor," said Michael Scippa of the Marin Institute. "They have the perogative to pass it through to the customer. That's up to the industry.

"It mitigates the harm."

The American Beverage Institute released a statement regarding its opposition to the plan.

"A tax by any other name is still a tax," said managing director Sarah Longwell in the news release. "Californians do not want an alcohol tax increase, regardless of whether it's called a tax or a fee."

The hearing was scheduled to begin at about 1:30 p.m.

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