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Old 07-01-2008, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,054 posts, read 14,750,856 times
Reputation: 2796

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
I'm giving too much to the state and their asinine alcohol policies. Did you know that bars have beer distributors assigned to them? and why othe need for liquor llicenses if there's already zoning? this mean sthat even if the distributor next door sells beer 20% cheaper, they are required to buy elsewhere. I also know that there aren't many successful old cities that have crappy transit systems. why not use it to restore service cuts?
Quote:
The restaurateurs argue that instead of creating a drink tax for mass transit, Mr. Onorato should have considered a broad-based funding option like an increase in the sales tax that does not specifically target one industry....Furthermore, the restaurateurs contend, the drink tax is especially onerous because it is an additional tax to the five-tiered alcohol tax imposed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08182/893654-455.stm

if they can mobolize against this tax, why can't they mobilize against the five tiered PLCB scheme. This is what makes alcohol so expensive in PA, even in the smallest of towns where you'd think it woudl be cheap. order online form out of state? no. conveniently located, friendly, knowledgable wine stores? no. low prices? no. taverns allowed to shop for the best price? no. free market for brewers to sell their product? no. overpriced six packs from bars? check. case only sales in out of the way stores? check. you'd think that between Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and some smaller cities like Harrisburg itself that have a large nightlife scene that some sort of coalition could be put together to reform the draconian alcohol distribution system in PA.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, USA
3,133 posts, read 8,582,776 times
Reputation: 1093
At the local bar I can get a 12-pack of Keystone or similar for $6. At the inconvenient beer distributor I can buy cases for under $9. A big bottle of whiskey at the state store usually runs $14 including tax, before rebates if there is one. How much cheaper is this stuff in other states? When growing up I always heard of people going to WV or MD to buy alcohol because it's cheaper. When I was 16 and gas was only a quarter I still figured it wasn't worth the trip because of gas, wear and tear on the car and my time.

But I am in accord with you. I hate monopolies, especially when it's the govt.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:20 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,420 posts, read 4,318,222 times
Reputation: 1201
Just be glad your alcohol is legal.

The alternative to the drink tax is substantially raising property taxes, which will affect everybody, since landlords will use it as an excuse to raise rents.

Vote yes on the drink tax (if it even comes up for a vote), and once again, be glad that your drug of choice doesn't get you thrown in jail, despite the fact that it actually kills brain cells and leads to the deaths of close to 100,000 people a year in this country alone.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,054 posts, read 14,750,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creepsinc View Post
Just be glad your alcohol is legal.

The alternative to the drink tax is substantially raising property taxes, which will affect everybody, since landlords will use it as an excuse to raise rents.

Vote yes on the drink tax (if it even comes up for a vote), and once again, be glad that your drug of choice doesn't get you thrown in jail, despite the fact that it actually kills brain cells and leads to the deaths of close to 100,000 people a year in this country alone.
illegal alcohol, like drugs, caused a large increase in consumption and financed the rise of organized crime in this country. alcohol consumption has repeatedly been found to have beneficial health benefits as well. the only thing I'm thankful for is that there aren't more backwards folks like yourself. the post wasn't that funding public transit with a drink tax is wrong (though you'd think that the transit should at least provide people with an effective way to spend a night on the town without driving) but that perhaps the real rpoblem lies with the PLCB and some ridiculous arcane rules. creeps, are you defending the practice of assigning beer distributors to bars rather than allowing bars, like other businesses, to shop around for suppliers? should the state assign you to a work place? should they choose where you buy your food?
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
11,943 posts, read 15,042,909 times
Reputation: 9844
I'll be voting against the drink tax if it does make it to referendum. Penalizing the food service/restaurant/bar industry which is mainly Mom and Pop is wrong. If everyone has access to public transportation, then everyone should pay there fair share. Of course, this could be a moot point if the morons that run PAT had half a brain and could operate efficiently.

Best line I heard was a trucker who drives through downtown daily. "The well dressed executive types always have a 6 dollar Starbucks in their hands. The poor people are always wearing 200 dollar sneakers. Maybe PAT should charge more since it seems the ridership can afford it." Can't argue with that.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:11 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,420 posts, read 4,318,222 times
Reputation: 1201
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
illegal alcohol, like drugs, caused a large increase in consumption and financed the rise of organized crime in this country. alcohol consumption has repeatedly been found to have beneficial health benefits as well. the only thing I'm thankful for is that there aren't more backwards folks like yourself. the post wasn't that funding public transit with a drink tax is wrong (though you'd think that the transit should at least provide people with an effective way to spend a night on the town without driving) but that perhaps the real rpoblem lies with the PLCB and some ridiculous arcane rules. creeps, are you defending the practice of assigning beer distributors to bars rather than allowing bars, like other businesses, to shop around for suppliers? should the state assign you to a work place? should they choose where you buy your food?
Calling me "backwards" is a little extreme. My point was to point out to people that ten cents on the dollar is NOTHING. I think alcohol, marijuana, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, cocaine, heroin and ANYTHING else one might choose to put in their body should be sold at the corner store and taxed accordingly. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but I'm for legalization of everything. Hardly anything backwards about that. I find my views quite progressive. Also, alcohol IS cheap in Pennsylvania, especially in bars. Go to NYC or out west if you don't believe me.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,054 posts, read 14,750,856 times
Reputation: 2796
Quote:
Originally Posted by creepsinc View Post
Calling me "backwards" is a little extreme. My point was to point out to people that ten cents on the dollar is NOTHING. I think alcohol, marijuana, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, cocaine, heroin and ANYTHING else one might choose to put in their body should be sold at the corner store and taxed accordingly. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but I'm for legalization of everything. Hardly anything backwards about that. I find my views quite progressive. Also, alcohol IS cheap in Pennsylvania, especially in bars. Go to NYC or out west if you don't believe me.
Actually, I've found that wine is cheaper in NYC than the state stores...at least when I did comparison shopping a few years ago. my point wasn't about the 10% drink tax, but about the five tiered system the PLCB runs which is what really adds to the cost. In Philadelphia may parents complain about the 10% tax, but the real issue is the bar cost. It's why they don't find wine much cheaper in the suburbs. In places like Pitt where population has dramatically decreased, you don't have to worry about licenses as much. I've been to CA and found the wine much cheaper. I've been to Seattle and found the beer about on par with what it is here. I'd posit that wine and liwuor drinkers have it worse than beer drinkers but my main point was that rather than complain about the 10% drink tax that funds mass transit, why not go after the real cost driver, the PLCB system.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:48 AM
 
20,273 posts, read 29,825,123 times
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Yeah, the 10% drink tax really isn't a big deal. I was actually talking with my brother from Portland about it during a recent visit, because apparently they have no such taxes out there. But I asked when was the last time he chose where to go for a drink based on whether a given drink was $5.00 or $5.50, and he said "good point" and that was that.

That said, I would favor a higher (and more progressive) income tax over these sorts of consumption taxes to pay for public transit. But if we aren't going to be getting such income taxes, I am fine with the drink tax.
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:02 PM
 
10 posts, read 21,979 times
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Default Options other than the drink tax

It is interesting how these topic has continued to evolve...

Originally, the drink tax was imposed to bail out mass transit. This in and of itself is ridiculous. Another public entity (mismanaged and bankrupt) that taxpayers must bail out. It has always amazed me how my household has an income and a budget. I must live within that budget. Yet, gov't, school boards, etc. are premitted to spend and spend using the taxing body as the "always open ATM"...

Interestingly, the estimates mass transit needed were significantly smaller than the revenue being generated from the drink/rental car tax. So why the high 10% tax? Why not lower it? (Which by the way, the republican council members wanted to put up for referendum in Nov. but the democratic council voted no.) Because once the gov't can get or will get money from the taxpayers, they will spend it. Now the county is getting the money to help out it's debt.

Onorato has been quoted as saying repeatedly that there are no other alternatives to the drink tax. Well I have a few...
1. End the pensions for city/county workers. (This can also be extrapolated out to school districts, state, and federal employees)
Obviously continue to pay those already retired. Do a conversion by which any current employee gets an equivalent sum (based on senoirity)put into a 401. Any new employee gets a 401. The gov't can match this up to whatever ridiculous amount allowed by law 10%, 15%, whatever. The gov't can contribute without employee match 4%, 6%, etc. The point being that when the employee retires, they are off the gov't dole.
There are those who feel that because of a lower wage (???), they should receive such a benefit. Wrong. Pensions will bankrupt our gov'ts and it's citizens. Why do you think private industry has all but abandoned the concept? We live much longer now and are retiring earlier than 20-30 years ago. All too common an employee retires at 55 (or earlier) and if they live to 85 or 90 - that 35 to 40 years of recieving a pension at 60%, 70%, or 80% of their salary. The taxpayers cannot foot this financial burden. Besides, a gov't job has little to no risk of being lost. That's the biggest benefit.
2. Contribute to your healthcare or more substantially.

Basically Pittsburgh needs lots of new jobs to generate revenue and get out from under it's biggest expense in order to move forward. I love this city, but can't stand the decades old one party system. Pittsburgh unfortunately is the shining example why a one party system doesn't work.

I leave you all with one question... Would the citizens of Pittsburgh/Allegheny county tolerate decades of losing seasons by the Steelers without clamoring for a change in players, coaches, or management???

Last edited by burgh; 07-10-2008 at 01:20 PM.. Reason: Not finished
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
11,943 posts, read 15,042,909 times
Reputation: 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by burgh View Post
I leave you all with one question... Would the citizens of Pittsburgh/Allegheny county tolerate decades of losing seasons by the Steelers without clamoring for a change in players, coaches, or management???
No, but that is private enterprise, we decide with our dollars to support them or not. The local Dems have us by the short ones since they know they'll never get voted out of office.

They raised the price of a beer at PNC park to 7 bucks, that's pretty steep, especially since you can't watch that team SOBER. I've only been to the opener this year. I took the elevator down from the top level, we stop at the box level and in walks Mr. Onorato, I was ready to thank him for helping to curb my alcohol consumption, but he was with his son, didn't think it was fair to "jag" him.
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