Gov. Tina Kotek has dropped her request for the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission to add another 50-cent surcharge to bottles of alcohol to fund mental health and addiction services.
She asked for the surcharge in her February budget. But on Wednesday, she sent a letter to the commission’s board, saying the tax was no longer needed.
“Since my recommended budget was originally released, there have been two revenue forecasts indicating there will be sufficient resources to fund essential services in the next biennium without the surcharge,” she wrote. “Additionally, I have been clear that I only support a new surcharge if the funds are directly allocated to behavioral health services. Without further specific action by the Legislature this session, any surcharge approved by the commission would go into the general fund with no designatedpurpose, undermining the purpose of the recommendation.”