Neb. Alcohol Industry Opposes Beer Tax to Fund Treatment

A proposal to use beer-tax revenues to fund an alcohol detoxification program in the notorious town of Whiteclay, Neb., is being opposed by alcohol industry lobbyists, the Omaha World-Herald reported Feb. 4.

Whiteclay is home to four stores that sell only beer, and most of that to residents of the “dry” nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The reservation is plagued by alcoholism, and Whiteclay has been dubbed the “Skid Row of the Plains.”

A state senator has proposed using 70 percent of the sales-tax revenue collected from Whiteclay alcohol sales to fund a detox center and support economic development and law enforcement in the area. But alcohol-industry lobbyists object to the plan, saying they oppose earmarking alcohol taxes for the project. Lobbyists proposed that the state instead appropriate $250,000 from the general fund to pay for the program.

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