The Priory Hotel on the North Side will lower its drink prices once Allegheny County's drink tax is reduced. But hotel owner John Graf says he understands if other business owners don't do the same. The tax on poured alcohol drinks will be reduced from ten percent to seven percent in January. Graf says it's easy for him to roll back prices because he's listed the tax as a separate line item on customers' bills. His primary business is as a banquet hall for special events like weddings.
Graf says he knows he's lost business to facilities in other counties because of the tax. So he says it makes good business sense for him to roll back prices. But for bars and restaurants that haven't seen a drop in their business, he says he expects most of them will keep their prices the same. Graf is part of a group called Friends Against Counterproductive Taxation, which opposes the tax and is currently suing Allegheny County over how it plans to use the revenue.
Graf says he's most interested in learning whether Aramark will roll back its drink prices after the tax is lowered, since the company operates at publicly-funded facilities. Aramark provides concessions for the Penguins and Pirates, and raised the ire of some fans when it increased drink prices by more than the ten percent tax rate. Aramark said at the time that it was rounding up prices to the nearest quarter to ease transactions. It has not responded to a call from DUQ regarding whether the company will lower prices in January.