By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Restaurants and the liquor industry are voicing concerns about plans to increase Connecticut alcohol taxes to help balance the state’s budget.
The General Assembly’s Democratic-controlled tax committee this week passed a tax package that raised the rates by 20 percent. But Rep. Patricia Widlitz, the panel’s House chairwoman, told The Associated Press on Friday there’s a chance the proposed tax increase could be changed in the coming days.

Widlitz said she has received “a couple interesting proposals” to consider but would not elaborate.

The planned increase is projected to generate $9.8 million in the first year of the two-year budget. It is expected to yield $9.3 million in the second year. The Distilled Spirits Council says the change could cut retail sales by $38 million and cost 485 jobs in the hospitality industry.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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