The Associated Press October 5, 2010, 2:28PM ET

Hospitals, insurers: Keep Mass. alcohol sales tax

Massachusetts' hospitals, insurers and community health centers are opposing a ballot question that would repeal the state's sales tax on alcohol.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans and the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Centers say repealing the 6.25 percent tax on alcohol sold in stores would result in funding being slashed for substance abuse prevention programs.

Package store owners say the tax has turned customers away, especially on the border with New Hampshire, which does not have a sales tax. They've already spent more than half a million dollars getting the question on the ballot and conducting public opinion surveys.

The alcohol sales tax was approved in 2009. Alcohol had been exempt from the tax.

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