Substance Abuse Funding After Ballot Question 1

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Although Massachusetts voters decided not to lower the state's sales tax on Election Day, they told legislators that alcohol should be exempt from that tax.

Voters rejected Question 3, which means sales tax in Massachusetts remains 6.25 percent. But voters passed Question 1, which means alcohol is now sales tax-free.

Alcohol sales tax revenue had helped fund substance abuse treatment programs. But now that the tax has been repealed, about $110 million fewer dollars will flow into state coffers each year. That means a great deal to the substance abuse programs that used to benefit from those funds.

One of them is Victory Programs. It got its start in Boston in 1975 helping homeless men who were struggling with alcohol abuse. Now it runs 11 residential shelters and six outpatient programs throughout greater Boston.


  • Elizabeth Dugan, chair of the board of directors, Victory Programs, former Victory Programs resident
  • Jonathan Scott, CEO, Victory Programs

This program aired on November 8, 2010.


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