The Distilled Spirits Council has launched a radio ad across Delaware assailing a proposed 50% alcohol tax increase on beer, wine and spirits. The ad points to what DICUS calls the "hypocrisy of legislators spending millions of dollars toward boosting tourism, while at the same time proposing devastating taxes on tourism-related businesses and their workers".

"The Legislature is trying to quietly sail through a massive alcohol tax hike that is going to hurt consumers and businesses alike," said Distilled Spirits Council vice president Jay Hibbard. "This ad gets the word out that this tax increase will cost hundreds of jobs in the hospitality industry among those least able to afford it."

A recent Council economic analysis found that a 50% spirits tax increase would lead to a decline in state economic output of more than US$22m and destroy 330 hospitality sector jobs.

DISCUS pointed out that iIn 1997, state legislators took the opposite approach and actually grew Delaware's economy by decreasing the spirits tax rate.

"This tax increase will create a domino effect in the hospitality industry resulting in lost jobs and businesses throughout the state among hospitality workers such as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and other hospitality employees," Hibbard said.