Drink Tax Appeals Will Go to State Supreme Court
November 9, 2008, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Announcements, News Coverage | Tags: ,
While our referendum didn’t make it onto the November ballot, there is still hope that voters will get the chance to vote AXE THE DRINK TAX in the spring election.
Time to start thinking spring.

The state Supreme Court ruled that it will hear the appeals on both Drink Tax refernda and we will push for our referendum to be on the ballot in May using the signatures everyone worked so hard to collect.
Thanks again to everyone for helping continue this fight.  We will let you know the Court’s desicion as soon as we know.

Drink Tax Referenda Not on Ballot…YET!
October 15, 2008, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Announcements, News Coverage | Tags: , ,

After we all worked tirelessly to get our referendum on the November ballot, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued no directive and therefore both drink tax referenda will remain off of the ballot.

pa-supreme-court No word from the PA Supreme Court about the Drink Tax referenda.

While this is disheartening news, it is in no way, shape or form going to stop our fight against this unfair tax.  If the Supreme Court rules on the issue later this week, we will demand all ballots be reprinted with our referendum.

Keep checking back for updates.


Over-collection of Drink Tax funds must not be used to prop up county budget

Pittsburgh, PA – Tonight, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato delivered his 2009 proposed county budget to council.  This budget proposal includes a modest Drink Tax reduction while again failing to deal with the county’s structural deficit.

Allegheny County businessperson and Friends Against Counterproductive Taxation (FACT) board member Kevin Joyce said, “Let’s be honest, the Drink Tax was proposed and instituted not solely for the benefit of mass transit, but as a backhanded way to deal with the county’s structural deficit.  The budget looks good on paper – no new property taxes and a reduction in the drink tax – the problem is that this county is not solvent for the long term and our leaders know it.  The Drink Tax is and always has been simply a way to mask these larger issues regarding the fundamentals of the budget.  As you might expect, this plan very simply plays politics for short term gain, neglecting the long term viability of our region.

Kevin Joyce continued, “There was much talk this evening of how to spend the “over-collection” of the Drink Tax.  First, Act 44 dictates that all monies collected as a result of the Drink Tax should be used for mass transit.  Second, we take issue with the premise that this is the county’s money to spend as it sees fit.  This money is being taken out of the pockets of local businesses and the customers who support them, supposedly to subsidize the Port Authority, and our government leaders are treating it as if it’s a rainy day fund to address all that ails this county.  Our industry has been hit particularly hard by the economic crisis, businesses are closing in droves and people are losing jobs, yet our county government continues to bludgeon the hospitality industry with this tax while drawing up an over-collection Christmas list at the expense of countless local families and businesses.  Everyone is being forced to tighten their belts during this economic crisis, except on Grant Street.  The $29.5 million that has been collected through 8 months of 2008, which is already $3.25 million more than the $26.25 million purportedly needed for the 2008 transit match, has been left unspent and collecting interest while our leaders plan their Christmas list.  This budget guarantees it’s going to be a nice Christmas on Grant Street, but I’m not so sure about Main Street.”

“Families and Businesses are Hurting”
October 2, 2008, 12:30 pm
Filed under: News Coverage | Tags: , ,

From today’s Trib:

“Families and businesses are hurting in this economy, yet our county government continues on a reckless path of attacking a vulnerable industry that is dominated by struggling small businesses,” Kevin Joyce, a board member of the group Friends Against Counterproductive Taxation, said in a statement yesterday.

Over 40,000 Signatures Collected to Axe the Drink Tax

Thanks to everyone who helped gather signatures and spread the word about the Whiskey Rebellion II to “AXE THE DRINK TAX!” Because of you, we succeeded in collecting over twice the amount of signatures we needed – 23,006 – to get our Drink Tax referendum on the November Ballot. The effort is the biggest petition drive in the history of Allegheny County!

Some of our great staff – servers from local restaurants – personally delivered all of the petitions to Allegheny County governement yesterday. Check out some of the news coverage below:

8/5/08, Bob Mayo, WTAE-TV

8/5/08, Kym Gable, KDKA-TV

8/6/08, Daniel Malloy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

8/6/08, Justin Vellucci, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Kickoff Event Media Coverage
June 18, 2008, 2:15 pm
Filed under: News Coverage, Uncategorized | Tags:

Our Whiskey Rebellion II Kickoff Party was a huge success with nearly 1,000 people in attendance. Check out some of the great news coverage we received from our event:

KDKA- Group Launches Campaign To End Drink Tax

Group Wants Voters To Decide Drink Tax’s Fate

Petition Would Force Drink Tax To Ballot

Drink Tax Opponents Kick Off Whiskey Rebellion II

Trib –
Whiskey Rebellion II Targets County’s Drink Tax