Allegheny County officials have received help from state Senators who slipped language into a proposed Pennsylvania transportation funding bill that would allow the county to slap a 10 percent tax on all alcoholic drinks sold in the county.
Restaurant and bar owners are up in arms over the measure. In 2003, they successfully fought a similar bill proposed in the city of Pittsburgh.
State legislators say that all they are doing is considering a bill that would enable Allegheny officials to impose the tax. Media reports indicate that county officials already have a use for the money the tax would generate: bailing out the Allegheny Port Authority.
Officials have calculated that a 10 percent drink tax and a $2 per day rental car tax would generate about $38 million annually.