Happy Holidays
December 23, 2008, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Announcements | Tags: ,

santa-beer

On behalf of everyone from FACT we wish you all a very happy and safe holiday.

While the Drink Tax issue has been heavy on all our minds, now is a good time to let the matter rest for awhile and focus on what is truly important in our lives: our family, friends and all of the loved ones that make each day special.

Enjoy your holiday and thank you for all of your hard work and loyalty this past year.

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Allegheny County Headed to Court Over Plan to Spend Drink Taxes

“Drink and car rental fee collections above the $32 million budgeted for 2008 will be used for debt service related to roads and bridges in my 2009 budget, as allowed by Commonwealth law,” – Chief Executive Dan Onorato, 2009 Budget Address

onorato-bridge

Mr. Onorato may have to find a different way to fund bridge and road repairs.

What Commonwealth law was the Executive referring to in his address? 

Here’s another Policy Brief from the Allegheny County Institute for Public Policy explaining why Allegheny County is about to lose yet another lawsuit!



Lawsuit Filed Against Allegheny County
December 18, 2008, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Announcements | Tags: , , ,

Today, FACT and County Councilman Chuck McCullough filed a lawsuit to stop Executive Dan Onorato from using surplus drink and car rental tax revenues for road and bridge repairs.

Earlier this month, Mr. Onorato and county council passed the 2009 budget which noted that extra revenue from the drink and car rental tax would be used help pay for bridge and road improvements EVEN THOUGH state law requires drink tax revenue to be used on mass transit only.



Drink Tax Monies Being Used Outside of Port Authority
December 10, 2008, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Announcements | Tags: ,

When Executive Onorato realized that the Drink Tax and Rental Car Tax would collect more money than expected for Port Authority (for 2008, the County needed $27.5 million, budgeted $32 million, and will collect at a minimum $44 million), he decided that the County could use the interest on Drink Tax collections, along with any monies collected over the amount needed for the Port Authority subsidy, on non-Port Authority expenses. The County budget for 2009 reflected this wish.

Mr. Onorato and council members promised when they passed the 10% Drink Tax, the revenue raised would be exclusively used for the Port Authority and that they would search for other sources of revenue to subsidize it. Well, they have done neither and their reckless political actions have crippled the Pittsburgh region’s hospitality industry in an already tough economy, so our fight continues.

Look for a lawsuit in the near future…



Drink Tax Reduced to 7% For 2009 Budget
December 5, 2008, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Announcements | Tags: , ,

It isn’t everything anybody wanted, but it’s better than nothing.  Facing criticism from Allegheny County citizens, County Council passed a budget this week which reduced the Drink Tax from 10% to 7%, representing a year’s worth of hard work by advocates working to reduce or eliminate this harmful tax.  Here are some stories from the press concerning this news:

Allegheny County Cuts Drink Tax to 7%, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Drink Tax Cut Passes County Council, KDKA-TV

Cheers, Drinks to Cost 3 Percent Less, WTAE-TV

We applaud the county for this action; however this is only the first step.  We will continue to pursue the repeal of this irresponsible and unfair tax.  And we will maintain a vigilant oversight on how these monies are used.

Whiskey Rebellion Continues

And so The Whiskey Rebellion II continues…