View Full Version : The 10 percent Drink tax makes Pa. county executive unpopular

06-17-2008, 10:23 AM
PITTSBURGH - A stiff drink comes with a stiff tax in Pittsburgh and surrounding towns these days, and that has made the county executive public enemy No. 1 in some quarters, reviled by name in song and on bar bills.

Even comedians have gotten into the act, complaining that rising drink tabs meant fewer people coming to see them perform and pouring wine and liquor into a river in a mock restaging of the Boston Tea Party.

The 10 percent drink tax, in effect since January, was pushed along by Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato to subsidize public transit. The two-term Democrat says he had no choice; swallow that, he said, or property taxes would have to be hiked.

Many bar and restaurant owners are frothing over the county surcharge, and are making sure that the name of its sponsor is as well-known as, say, Sam Adams and Jim Beam. With rising fuel and food costs and a weak economy, they say, the tax is just one big fly in their beer.

06-17-2008, 10:24 AM
This is serious! I'm going to be there for a long weekend next month! :eek:

06-17-2008, 10:29 AM
This is serious! I'm going to be there for a long weekend next month! :eek:Bring a quart hip flask with you !

06-17-2008, 10:50 AM
I would think it would make more sense to raise the money from toll roads if it is a public transportation issue.

Penguins Fan
06-17-2008, 06:13 PM
Onorato is despised for having rammed this in.

The public transit agency, known here as the Port Authority, is one of the most inefficient, poorly operated, dirty, overpaid agencies in the entire country.

Buses operate on routes where nobody is on the bus. I see it every weekend. Fuel is burned, a bus is driven, a driver is paid overtime - to carry nobody at all.

The bus fleet is old and dirty. I often recognize fast food packaging from one day to the next, dropped there by lazy teenagers. I will not let my wife take my baby son on any of those buses. Certain bus drivers are too fucking lazy to get off of the bus to smoke a cigarette.

Certain routes don't have enough buses, which means people are packed onto too-small buses as early as 3:30 PM on many weekdays.

The drivers are likely to go on strike. Due to the construction around PNC Park and Heinz Field, there are few parking places available (many commuters park there and it's a short walk downtown).

Disgusting people use public transit everywhere. The Metro system in Washington is no exception. At least Metro keeps its vehicles clean. Port Authority can't be bothered.