"On March 17, 1936, floodwaters fueled by heavy rains and melting snow surged through Johnstown Pennsylvania.
The deluge took two dozen lives, destroyed 77 buildings and caused more than $40 million in damages.
And, in a sense, every modern-day consumer who buys liquor or wine in Pennsylvania still is footing the bill for that St. Patrick’s Day disaster 71 years ago.
The so-called 'Johnstown Flood Tax,' an 18-percent surcharge on every bottle bought at a state liquor store, first was introduced a 'temporary' tax to help Johnstown’s cleanup efforts in 1936.
And the levy, which is separate from the state’s 6-percent sales tax, lives on despite multiple attempts to kill it--and in spite of the fact that the tax’s proceeds have not flowed into Johnstown anytime in recent memory.