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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2020 11:06 AM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Restaurant Relief - Sales Tax Suspension & Wholesale Tax Break
I will soon offer another bill aimed at helping Pennsylvania bars and restaurants by providing them with indirect financial assistance.

This legislation is a dual approach for liquor licenses holders (bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, etc.) but also for non-liquor license holders in the hospitality industry.  The first would permit restaurants and bars to continue collecting the state sales tax for the sale of food and beverages, but would not require the business to remit the collected proceeds to the Department of Revenue.  The second part of this bill would provide an increased discount to liquor licenses on wholesale purchases made from the LCB wines and spirits stores.  Both the sales tax collection with non-remittance as well as the wholesale discount would remain in effect until December 30, 2021.

This concept arose from discussions with local business owners in my district and the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.  While I understand that this will have an impact on the state’s bottom line, we owe it to the tens of thousands of small businesses in our state to help them to survive.  Their survival is a marathon race; it’s not a sprint, and it likely will take years before these businesses see the consistent revenues which were had prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Additionally, hundreds of thousands of people employed by these businesses will not have many other places to look for - in this state - for further employment opportunities within this industry.

Restaurants and bars are important industries to our communities.  We owe it to the owners of these small businesses that are fighting to stay open during this pandemic to not only survive but thrive after we are past this difficult time.