Monday, December 6, 2010

County Councilman: Cut Drink Tax

Allegheny County’s tax on alcoholic drinks would be cut from 7% to 6% under a proposal from County Councilman Chuck McCullough.

McCullough says the current tax rate generated about $4 million more than the $27.7 million needed to fund the county’s share of the Port Authority’s budget.

Each year, the car rental tax and the drink tax give Allegheny County the funds it needs to provide a 15% match to state funding for the Port Authority. With $185 million in state aid, the target amount this year was $27.7 million, but McCullough says the two taxes combined for almost $32 million.

“I don’t think any of us want to see people overpay taxes, and that’s really what’s going on here,” says McCullough. “We’ve got more money than is needed for the Port Authority. It’s doing anybody any good just sitting in the county coffers. It can’t be used for general purposes. It’s only fair to give some tax relief to the taxpayers.”

McCullough helped reduce the drink tax from its original 10% rate to 7% for 2009. The at-large County Councilman says he’ll introduce the measure Monday, and he expects it to be resolved over the next few Council meetings.

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