I got the following from Sean Casey, owner of Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh. Sean has been a leader in the fight against the inflationary and unfair 10% "poured drink" tax in Allegheny County. You must know my position on booze taxes by now: We pay enough now. If a government service is of benefit to the entire public, then the entire public should pay for it.
This tax has been misrepresented by its proponents from the beginning: they lied about whether or not they would enact it, they lied about who would have to pay it, they lied about how much money it would take from residents pockets, they even lied about what it would be applied to (folks were told that to-go sixpacks would not be taxable; then the County decided that they were, even though the tax was presented as a poured drink tax).
Now that the people of Allegheny County have reared up and signed a petition for a referendum on the tax, about 45,000 of them. The response from those who want to see this unfair tax stay in place? They sued, challenging the legitimacy of the signatures. They're looking to have 29,000 of them thrown out. The infernal gall of them...
You can help by volunteering to inspect signatures this weekend. Here's what Sean had to say:
Frederick Hannah, Shawn Flaherty and Shirley Williamson have filed a suit to challenge the legitimacy of the 40,000 signatures certified by Allegheny County Division of Elections. They are seeking to throw out approximately 29,000 signatures out of the roughly 45,000 signatures filed by our citizenry on a myriad of nuances.Casey calls this effort "Whiskey Rebellion II." A wonderful sentiment. Now get out there and count!
Preliminary instructions from the court today created a guideline of what should be acceptable parameters for voters that signed the “Drink Tax referendum.” This indicates that knit picky challenges will be rejected and voter spirit will be protected.
Friends Against Counterproductive Taxation (FACT, a group that is against government applying onerous taxation on small businesses) is looking for volunteers this Saturday -9/13 and Sunday - 9/14. We need volunteers to help in the signature protection/certification process that would be akin to the chad recounts that transpired in Florida. This recount will occur at the Division of Elections downtown.
If you would like to volunteer for a 4 hour or 8 hour shift, please forward an email to myself at email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call me at
The spirit of the people should be allowed to prevail. We appreciate the verbal support and emails of encouragement that many of your provide to us on this issue.