Two alcohol-related proposals have been floating around The Sun’s opinion pages in recent weeks that, while entirely different in nature, deserve to be unconventionally paired: Like a crisp rosé wine with an aged Gouda, they can make each other better. The first would raise the statewide sales tax on alcohol for 9% to 10%. The second would allow chain stores to sell alcoholic beverages so that you could not only buy your dinner at Safeway, you could pick up a six-pack to go with it. The former is likely to reduce sales of wine, beer and liquor; the second to potentially expand them. But it’s actually quite a bit more complicated than that and, fortunately, the implications are almost entirely positive.
Let’s start with some perspective. First, Maryland is not now an especially high alcohol tax state. A 2018 survey by the Tax Foundation ranked Maryland 31st among the 50