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Bars, restaurants mobilizing against liquor tax

A new coalition says it will fight Mayor Nutter bid to raise the city's liquor-by-the-drink tax to send more money to the Philadelphia schools.

A coalition of bars, restaurants and other businesses with interests in the liquor industry is mobilizing against a proposed hike in Philadelphia's liquor-by-the drink tax, now 10 percent.

A group calling itself Hospitality United of Philadelphia scheduled a $25-a-head fundraiser  Thursday night at the new Fraternal Order of Police headquarters, on Caroline Road in Northeast Philadelphia, to raise money for the effort.

The campaign director, William Miller V, said the group would include bar, tavern and restaurant owners, as well as suppliers, brewers and beer distributors, all opposed to Mayor Nutter's bid to raise the tax to 15 percent, to provide more money for the Philadelphia schools.

"We want to be able to fund a campaign, run ads on TV or radio, whatever we need to do to defeat this," Miller said. "You'd be taking this money from businesses that are already paying the liquor tax, instead of going after the ones who aren't paying and there's a ton of them….Philadelphia does a bad job collecting taxes in general."

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