Monday, September 23, 2013

Gin and taxes

Last week PAIndependent pointed out a development in Harrisburg that could have a small impact on the City of Pittsburgh. See: You’re buying: Can PA munis drink their way out of debt? The big idea... Act 47 communities could be given the power to impose their own drink taxes to raise revenue.

What is the biggest municipality in Pennsylvania under Act 47?

I was reminded of that because KDKA is following up the story today:  New Bill Could Mean Higher Taxes On Drinking Or Working In Pittsburgh. The typical counterarguments arise in Jon's coverage.  Would alcohol consumers shift their purchases outside the city if there was a City of Pittsburgh specific tax?  Reminds me of similar argument against both the Alleheny County drink tax, but also to the Allegheny County supplemental RAD-financing sales tax.  Everyone seemed pretty sure the same calamity would result from both of those new taxes.  Think anyone wants to follow up those past stories?  Has alcohol consumption shifted outside of Allegheny County?  Is the entire retail sector in Allegheny County kaput?

Of course taxes are just one part of the economics of drinking.  I have an idea for an essential benchmarking exercise.  How about the Gin and Tonic index? Is the cost of drink at a competitive disadvantage here compared to...  Cleveland?  Need some primary research from our intrepid spirits-beat reporters in town!


Anonymous MH said...

Our high drink taxes caused Wander to flee the country.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:27:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I'm speechless... gotta rank #1 of all stories of bizarro Republican candidates for mayor.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:42:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Ranks right up there with the guy who went bankrupt and was living on his friends couch as he ran... Who was that?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:43:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

It's too late to draft Weinroth, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 9:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait - what happened to Wander? He left?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Toland said...

I'd have to benchmark more than one city. Probably 15 or so peer cities. To be, you know, thorough.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 5:06:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Anon, look over in the twitter bar for the link to a trib story.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 5:21:00 PM  

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