Thursday, December 02, 2010

And... Drink Tax (Redux)

This spoiled my breakfast this morning:

Since their enactment in 2008, Allegheny County's taxes on alcoholic drinks and car rentals have done virtually nothing to ease the Port Authority's chronic financial problems.

Here's why: The new taxes were intended to help the county's budget, not the Port Authority's.

The taxes are generating less than $2 million per year in extra revenue for the authority while producing $30 million to $40 million windfalls that county government has used to avoid raising property taxes.
What? What? WHAT?
"That is very clearly a point of confusion," [Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie] said. "People to this day just don't understand that this was not new money."
Now, that's an understatement. Did I just miss this? Was I not paying attention? Were there squirrels outside my window going at it like... squirrels, I guess, in heat? Was I so hopped up on NyQuil and ground up Flintstone Vitamins that I was delusional?

Please, someone tell me that this was hidden somewhere in the fine print near the bottom, like where the credit card rate jumps from 3% to 4 Gillion % if you don't buy milk on Wednesdays!

I mean, *I* used the might and majesty of this blog to argue that the drink tax was a sensible way of funding mass transit. I severed friendships over this. I burned down an apartment building in a Sambuca fueled haze for the Drink tax. Now I find out that it was just another way to suck money out of Joe Six Pack so that Dan Onorato and the folks on County Council wouldn't have to raise property taxes?

I ruined my liver for the busses, Dan, not so that some estate in Fox Chapel could save a mill or two off their taxes.

I feel dirty now.

Dirty and sober.

1 comment:

Pgh_Knight said...

It was the "Dan, Dan the Tax Man" bait and switch!!!!