An Unintended Consequence       

In 2016, Governor Wolf signed Act 39 that imposed a $700 surtax on the yearly renewal of liquor licenses in the state of Pennsylvania. Soon after it went into effect, it was determined that this tax was a huge burden on the small canteens that served the membership of Fire Companies and Veterans’ Organizations.  The Legislators called it an unintended consequence and drew up House Bill 1901, which stated that those Organizations would not be subject to the tax.

That House Bill was sent to the House Liquor Committee for review, but no action was taken, and it expired at the end of the 2017-2018 sessions.

To demonstrate their concern, some Legislators drafted House Bill 1048 and sent it to the House Liquor Committee for review on April 5, 2019.  As of August 3, 2019, the bill is not on the agenda for action.

Veterans organizations have already paid the Surtax several times, meaning that each Post had to use $2,100.00 of its funds to pay this fee. Canteens often face hard financial times to remain open for the enjoyment of combat veterans and auxiliary members.  They soon face yet another round of the $700 Surtax.  These Veterans Organizations and Fire Companies could have used the Surtax dollars toward carrying out their missions of service.

We need lawmakers to make exempting Veterans Organizations and Fire Companies from this Surtax a legislative priority. We need you to urge your party leadership to put House Bill 1048 on the front burner. Surely, all lawmakers can agree that these service organizations have better ways to put this $700 tax to use to help others, with little impact to the State.

Contact Rep. Clint Owlett - 74 Main Street  Wellsboro, PA 16901    570-724-1390

State Senator Joseph Scarnati - 5 Main Street Wellsboro, PA 16901    570-724-5231