Proposed revisions to Pennsylvania’s program for fiscally distressed municipalities could include a levy on what goes on at the bar.
Local governments admitted into the state’s Act 47 program to stabilize their finances already are allowed to raise income taxes.
But a state task force studying Act 47 likely will recommend that lawmakers approve a new menu of tax alternatives — including as much as a 10 percent tax on the sale of alcoholic drinks and six-packs.
The drink tax option is meant to help cities that might otherwise have to raise taxes that damage the business climate, according to Sen. John Eichelberger, panel co-chairman.
“They may lose businesses over it, they may prohibit other businesses from moving in, based on what they do during that time period,” said Eichelberger, R-Blair. “And we wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. So this is an attempt to keep the business environment viable.”
Other proposed changes to the roughly 25-year-old program include mapping a clearly-defined way out.
Officials have long criticized Act 47 for leaving troubled local governments to languish. Twenty-seven municipalities have entered, but only six have left the program.