My compliments to CDT reporters Sarah Rafacz and Lauren Muthler for their series of reports on alcoholrelated crimes in the State College area and the need for broader taxing authority to pay for the necessary police, emergency, and other services. Bill Mahon’s OpEd on this subject is also praiseworthy.
As stated in Mr. Mahon’s OpEd, authority to tax alcohol both for retail sales and for poured liquor is a necessity for State College Borough and should be given to all Centre Region municipalities. It is by far the fairest tax discussed in the CDT articles and certainly fairer than what we are forced to do now; fund these services using property taxes and earned income taxes.
Several citizens have recommended an alcohol tax to me while I was on Borough Council. Many Borough officials -- including Mayor Hahn and former Mayor Goreham, Borough Manager Tom Fountaine, the last three Council Presidents, myself, and several other Council members --have spoken to state legislators about granting State College broader taxing authority. Unfortunately, even though Philadelphia and Allegheny County already levy alcohol taxes, the Commonwealth legislature is unlikely to grant us any broader taxing authority.
As a community, we know that an alcohol tax would allow for State College-area municipalities to provide resources necessary to deal with alcohol-related incidents in this area and could yield property tax relief; Harrisburg needs to give us the authority to levy one. - Jesse L. Barlow, State College, PA