Monday, November 10, 2008

Onorato Tax

So being close to Pittsburgh, and having Pittsburgh local channels beamed in on Dish Network, I end up hearing a decent amount of Pittsburgh news. Over the last year or so, there has been quite a hubbub over a new drink tax. People don't like paying more taxes, obviously, but evidently people really don't like paying extra for their drinks. And at 10%, that's a steep levy.

What reminded me of this situation was my bill from a recent trip to a Pittsburgh restaurant-- clear as can be, below my total bill, were the taxes were split into "sales tax" and "drink tax." Only the drink tax didn't say "drink tax"-- instead, it was labeled as the "Onorato Tax," after Allegheny County Cheif Executive Dan Onorato. That killed me.

How things have progressed: In late July, the Allegheny City Council determined that this measure should be decided on the November ballot-- in the format of "should we repeal the drink tax for an increase in property taxes?" In early September, the board of elections of Allegheny County determined that the issue was not fit to be determined through an election. A week after that ruling, the Friends Against Counterproductive Taxation appealed the decision. Just last Thursday, the state Supreme Court decided that it will hear the two appeals. Dana-- I know in California they vote on tax issues all of the time, so what's the grounds for saying this shouldn't be put to a vote if the city council deems it so?

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