State Sen. Jim Ferlo plans to introduce a bill lowering Allegheny County's 7 percent drink tax to 5 percent, and routing some of the funds to Pittsburgh public safety needs. Originally approved as a 10 percent levy, the county lowered it in 2009.
From the former city councilman's office:
[The bill would] lower and redirect portions of the local drink tax to aid the City of Pittsburgh. The measure would reduce the drink tax permitted in Allegheny County to 5 percent from 10 percent and change the distribution so that it will be divided by the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
All funds collected from establishments within the city proper would be allocated to a Pittsburgh trust fund for police, fire and public safety protection.
“The City of Pittsburgh is the entertainment and employment hub for the county and has many responsibilities to provide services to maintain a safe environment,” Ferlo said. “The city deserves a portion of the revenue generated by the drink tax to continue to provide and improve these services.”
The legislation would do bar/restaurant owners another favor by boosting a state discount they get on wine/liquor procurement, from 10 to 16 percent.