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Poll: Majority of Wisconsinites support higher beer tax

A poll released by the U-W Health system suggests a majority of Wisconsin voters would support raising the state's beer tax. The survey asked people whether they favored raising the tax as long as part of the revenue pays for treatment and preven...

A poll released by the U-W Health system suggests a majority of Wisconsin voters would support raising the state's beer tax.

The survey asked people whether they favored raising the tax as long as part of the revenue pays for treatment and prevention of alcohol abuse and strengthened enforcement of drunk driving laws. Fifty-eight percent said they would favor a beer tax increase under those conditions.

Lawmakers have generally avoided or scorned efforts to raise the beer tax on the grounds that it would be politically unpopular. But U-W Health's Lisa Maroney says this poll gives a sense of where the public stands.

"Sometimes in the capitol it takes public opinion to turn the tide of legislators thoughts about this," she says. "We wanted to just get some kind of an indication, a pulse, of what Wisconsin residents think about this. And we were I think pleasantly surprised to see that 58 percent of those polled support raising the beer tax."

U-W Health did not release details on the party affiliations of those polled. So there's no way to tell whether the survey questioned more Democrats or Republicans.

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