Originally created to channel emergency relief funds to victims of the Johnstown Flood, the Johnstown Flood Tax is a 10 percent temporary tax that was placed on the sale of all alcohol in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was only supposed to last a few years to raise the $41 million necessary to rebuild the community - an effort that was achieved by the end of 1942. Nearly 70 years later, that tax is still in place and now stands at 18 percent (before the statewide 6% sales tax is tacked on).
The near $200 million collected annually no longer goes to flood victims, however, instead going into the general fund for lawmakers to use as they see fit. A temporary tax that has overstayed its welcome.