Pennsylvania State Capitol. Pennsylvania State Capitol.

The Johnstown’s flood tax could have 5.6 percent diverted to the state’s “distressed” municipalities fund, under a measure suggested by a state senator.

According to a memo by Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr., R-Bedford, the Johnstown flood tax was enacted in 1936 after the Johnstown Flood. Originally it taxed alcohol beverages 10 percent to assist a “distressed municipality,” according to Langerholc. After incremental increases to the tax, all alcohol bought in the state is faced with an 18 percent tax and serves as a “general fund booster,” according to Langerholc’s memo.

Langerholc proposes that 5.6 percent of the alcohol beverage tax be used to assist distressed municipalities under Act 47. The money collected by the state Treasury, according to Langerholc, would be directed to the Commonwealth Financing Authority to give grants to distressed municipalities.