Seventy years ago Johnstown, PA was partially destroyed by a flood. You can see video of terrified residents running from the rising rivers here.
As a result of that flood, the state of Pennsylvania enacted an “emergency” tax on all alcohol sold in the Commonwealth. Intended for rebuilding, the “temporary” tax started at 10%. And indeed it was only temporary, because in 1963, it was upped to 15%. LOL.
Then in 1968 they said, “This temporary tax has been a little too not temporary. We need to raise that shit up to 18%.”
And the people rebelled and the people told their politicians they would not vote for them if they didn’t repeal that temporary emergency tax that had become a permanent punishment on buying alcohol in PA.
No, they didn’t. The people it seems aren’t even that aware that the tax still exists. That we’re paying an extra 18% to buy alcohol on top of the 6% sales tax.
But it hasn’t been done away with. This once temporary tax now generates $200 million a year for the general revenue fund, despite efforts by a few legislators like Marshall to repeal it.
“Since 1997, I think there have been about 13 bills to repeal or reduce the tax,” he recalls.
And all have gone nowhere, says Marshall, because so few people know about this 18 percent hidden tax.
The Johnstown Flood Tax has been with Pennsylvania so long after it finished its job that nobody really thinks it’s going to end any time soon. The key to ending it is public education. If more people know about it and complain to their legislators, it may be repealed.
Is that all we need to do, you guys?
Let’s do that, please?
Think the State can’t afford it?
Pennsylvania collected $1.8 billion in General Fund revenue in May, which was $33.9 million, or 1.9 percent, more than anticipated, Secretary of Revenue Daniel Meuser reported today. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $24.3 billion, which is $539.4 million, or 2.3 percent, above estimate.
That’s one month. This is ridiculous that we’re still paying this and we’re not pissed about it. Let’s get pissed. Let’s email our representatives. Let’s let them know we’re not voting for them unless they vote to repeal this “temporary” tax. Let’s get vocal.
Let’s privatize the PLCB for the love of beer.