Marketplace Scratch Pad

Liquor and gambling, that’s the answer

Scott Jagow Feb 19, 2009

Cities and states are desperate for revenue, and I think they’re starting to crack. Georgia’s having a debate about whether to begin selling booze on Sundays. Opponents say it would be “one more tear” in the state’s moral fabric. Yesterday, Philadelphia officials debated whether to charge an admission fee to people thrown in jail.

What they didn’t seem to realize at this Philadelphia budget meeting is that “booking fees” are fairly common around the country. They’re generally $20 to $50 per person who’s booked at the jail. Think of all the revenue Philly’s been missing out on!

Meanwhile, Baltimore might turn to simulated slot machines for more money.

In California, governor Schwarzenegger wants to tax rounds of golf and amusement park visits. He also wants to make people pay taxes for taking their animals to the vet.

I think Nevada Assemblyman Joe Hardy has it right:

“We’re doing desperate things in desperate times in desperate ways to respond to a desperate crisis.”

Let’s see. On my brief list here we have booze, gambling, crime and taxes on fun and puppies.

I love when government takes the high road.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.