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Pandemic Drives Drinking in Wisconsin

A new report suggests people are buying dramatically more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum released findings Wednesday that show revenue from state excise taxes on alcohol during the year that ended June 30 increased almost 17% over the $63.3 million they brought in the prior year.

The increase likely will be the largest percentage jump since 1972 if the preliminary data holds. Between 2009 and 2020 the percentage increase in alcohol tax revenue exceeded 2.4% in only one year.

The report said increased drinking may not be surprising given rising stress over personal health, job losses and a lack of leisure activities as the pandemic continues.


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