I encourage all voters to take time and review the proposed retail tax on alcoholic beverages. Based on a study by the McDowell Group in 2016, alcohol use and misuse costs Alaskans $1.84 billion annually. Local nonprofit groups have done an excellent job of providing services — food, shelter and limited housing — to the homeless population, but more resources are needed for long-term solutions.
Alcohol misuse is prevalent throughout Anchorage, and we need dedicated funding to support mental health and substance treatment for all who seek help. The trade association for bars and restaurants is opposing this tax, as usual, but the time has come to tackle our dependence on alcohol and all of the issues that result from overconsumption, i.e., crime, assaults and accidents. Please vote yes for a safer Anchorage!
— Joan L. Fisher
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