Md. health advocates celebrate alcohol tax

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland health advocates are celebrating a 50-percent increase in the state's sales tax on alcohol.

The sales tax on alcohol rises Friday from 6 percent to 9 percent.

It's the first alcohol-specific tax increase in the state in 38 years.

Advocates say the tax will help reduce underage drinking and alcohol abuse.

It's estimated the state will collect about $85 million a year from the tax increase.