A 10-cent tax on alcoholic beverages will be introduced in the Maryland General Assembly Monday, kicking off the annual fight to raise the age-old rate.

Fifty-four of the state's 141 delegates have signed onto the measure, which would amount to roughly $2.40 on a case of beer. All but three of Montgomery County's 24 delegates are sponsoring the bill.

Taxes on beer and wine were last raised in Maryland in 1972. The current tax amounts to less than a penny for beer and less than two cents for a glass of wine.

Maryland lawmakers have long considered raising the tax to help fund health care services for people with developmental disabilities. But the Senate and House remain divided over the issue.

The dime-a-drink bill failed in the last session, and a similar 5-cent alcohol tax failed the year before.