Alcohol Consumption and Taxes: Wet vs. Dry Areas

People in dry areas can drink alcohol if they wish, they simply can’t legally purchase alcoholic beverages in such places. Therefore, the question for voters in dry areas isn’t whether or not people will drink there but who will get the profits, taxes and other economic benefits.

Jackson County in Alabama remains dry but three of its cities permit alcohol sales under the state’s local option law. Recently the county decided to tax alcohol sales within the three wet cities. However, the Alabama Attorney General’s office has issued a ruling that only wet counties can tax alcohol sales. By remaining dry the county must forego the economic benefits of the alcohol sales.

Just as the entire nation learned during national Prohibition, being dry comes at a high price.


  • Bonner, Ken. County will not receive tax on alcohol. Daily Sentinel (Scottsboro, AL), January 27, 2005.