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San Gabriel Valley : Council Likes ‘Sin Tax’ Plan

If the Alhambra City Council had its way, local drinkers and smokers would pay big time for their sins.

The council feels so strongly about a county proposal to implement a tippler surcharge and cigarette tax, it risked the ire of the “sinners” by voting in support of the measure, although the panel has no authority in the matter.

Councilwoman Barbara Messina said she fears that unless both taxes are enacted, dozens of local county health facilities will close and transportation funds will be transferred from Alhambra to the county.

“It’s what you’ve got to do when you want to maintain the community,” she said, saying the vote would send a message to the county.

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Not all the council members liked the message. Councilman Paul Talbot abstained because he owns a local pool club that sells alcohol.


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