September 30, 2008, 5:18 pm
Filed under: Media Release | Tags: , , ,

Machine Politics Again on Full Display in Allegheny County

Pittsburgh, PA – Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato announced plans last week to reduce the “Drink Tax” by three percentage points in the county’s 2009 proposed budget.

Allegheny County businessperson and Friends Against Counterproductive Taxation (FACT) board member Kevin Joyce said, “This is more smoke and mirrors from the county executive and his rubber-stamp associates on council.  The timing of this announcement is especially suspect considering the legal process is in full motion to determine whether or not this issue will be presented to the voters this November.  With all due respect, the county executive and council made this announcement to give the appearance of having heard from the voters, rather than actually listening to the 40,000 plus Allegheny County residents that demanded the chance to vote to reduce the tax to .5%.  This is not Dan Onorato’s call – let the voters decide.”

Kevin Joyce continued, “At every step along the way, Dan Onorato, county council and all those associated with and beholden to the power structure in Allegheny County have done everything in their considerable power to throw up roadblocks, obfuscate, confuse and misdirect the media and the public with regard to this issue.  This proposal is simply more of the same.  The hospitality industry was not asked to come to the table to discuss this proposal, nor were we even allowed in the room at the press conference where these measures were announced.  This is indicative of the leadership style on display in Allegheny County.  Only those who play the game by their rules are allowed a seat at the table.  The majority of Allegheny County voters see it differently and want a chance to vote on this issue.  No more back room deals, no more closed session council meetings, no more politics as usual – let the voice of the people be heard.”


Drink Tax Referenda Questions: Ballot Incompatible

County Council’s referendum is not only confusing and illegal, but it will cause serious conflict during and after the November ballot.

County Council's referendum is confusing and illegal.

Read this Policy Brief from the Allegheny County Institute for Public Policy to learn more about why County Council’s referendum is illegal to begin with and how it is going to cause a ton of controversery come November.