SB 275 Raises Taxes to Fund Substance Abuse Programs - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

SB 275 Raises Taxes to Fund Substance Abuse Programs

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 A bill heard by Nevada Legislators could raise taxes on alcohol and tobacco to help fund Nevada's substance abuse programs.

Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom is sponsoring Senate Bill 275, which was discussed Tuesday in the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee.

Some substance abuse centers around town say the money is greatly needed. 

"The State of Nevada consistently ranks at the top of the list per-capita for alcohol consumption and other drugs,” said Denise Everett- Executive Director, Quest Counseling. “But we're always at the bottom of the list for how much the state spends on prevention and treatment."

Everett testified in Carson City Tuesday. 

"For every dollar spent on treatment, it saves between 7 and 10 dollars in criminal costs, social costs, costs to society through a wide variety of things,” she said. 

The bill would increase taxes on wine, beer, other alcoholic beverages and cigarettes by up to 50 percent and allocate new funds to substance abuse treatment programs in the state. Segerblom said the bill would represent a more than $75 million increase in state substance abuse programs.

The proposal would also create a pilot program for treating people addicted to heroin by allowing doctors to prescribe limited amounts of prescription heroin to help break the habit.

However, some Northern Nevadans don't like the idea. 

"I think it's not right,” said Sharon Arroyo. “If people want to drink and smoke, they should be able to drink and smoke because it's legal." 

"It just really depends,” said Harley Allen. “For cigarettes, they're pretty high as it is already." 

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