Letters to the Editor: Tax increase will do a lot of good
Carroll County Times
Soon SB 994 will officially be enacted.
This bill, better known as the alcohol tax bill, has received a decidedly mixed reception. Opponents to the bill quickly point out that this tax will place jobs in jeopardy, and significantly impact the struggling restaurant business. Also gaining attention after the bill passage was the amount of funding going to school construction.
What has been lost is the funding for people with disabilities and their families who are desperately waiting for services. They will finally get some help. Caring for a child is challenging. Caring for a child with a disability with no access to services is scary.
Currently there are 5,384 on the waiting list in Maryland, and from 2004-2011 the number of people in Carroll County awaiting services grew by 40 percent, from 223 to 312, according to the latest figures from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration.
Proceeds from the tax will help some of these folks receive much-needed services. In turn, the four adult agencies in Carroll County - Flying Colors of Success, The Arc of Carroll County, Change, Inc, and Target Educational and Community Services - will have an opportunity to assist individuals and families with their service needs, in turn, it is likely we will hire staff to work with individuals.
To me, knowing that a few cents per drink will make a positive difference in someone's life or help to relieve stress in a family seems like a small price to pay.
The writer is executive director of The Arc of Carroll County.