City Hall Sues Yuengling For Back Taxes, Won’t Explain Quite Why

In a battle between City Hall and America’s Oldest Brewery, Philadelphians are probably inclined to be on the side of the folks providing their lager. It’s even easier to want to take sides when City Hall won’t explain why, exactly, it’s suing Yuengling Brewery for back taxes:

The civil suit against Yuengling, which was filed in Philadelphia last week, claims America’s oldest brewery failed to pay its business tax, though the suit does not detail what activities Yuengling conducted within Philadelphia that the city determined to be taxable.

When Yuengling refused to allow the city’s revenue department to audit its records from 2008 to 2011, the BIRT assessment was made based “solely on the accounts payable list” of a Philadelphia beer distributor, the suit said. That assessment, for Yuengling’s BIRT taxes in the city from 2008 to 2011, amounted to $3,960,335, according to the suit. Add to that accrued interest of $963,126 and penalties of $1,710,830 and it amounts to the $6.6 million the city is seeking from Yuengling.

The attorney who filed the suit for the city referred all questions to the Mayor’s Office. Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald declined to comment on the suit and even refused to explain the basic foundation for the taxes.

Now of course Yuengling should pay its fair share of taxes, if it hasn’t done so. But this still can’t bode well for the brewery’s relationship with either the city or the state. Remember, last fall Dick Yuengling threatened to move the company far, far away. This probably won’t help. [Daily News]