Liquor sales can boost the economy

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dear Editor:

Some citizens have the opinion that the sale of wine and liquor in Brookhaven would not have a positive economic impact.

However, after researching the Mississippi Department of Revenue, the numbers show otherwise, and as they say,” numbers don’t lie.”

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Lincoln County is currently the only dry county located on I-55 corridor in the State of Mississippi.

Brookhaven is the only town in the Top 25 sales tax earnings report located in a dry county. Brookhaven continues to make the top 25 in sales tax figures largely due to the auto and ATV market. The sales tax numbers verify this fact with 22.4 percent ($7,693,269.00) of Brookhaven’s sales tax dollars coming from auto and ATV sales.

These numbers reflect our commercial potential. We can easily expand our sales market and promote growth. When it comes to the food and beverage market, Lincoln

County does not come close to meeting its potential.

In 2012, Lincoln County reported 17.8 percent of its sales tax dollars from food and beverage sales, while Copiah came in at 29.4 percent, Adams at 21 percent and Pike at 20.7 percent.

Copiah County does not have a town in the top 25 sales tax figures, yet it generated $4,385,644.00 in 2012 food and beverage sales tax dollars.

Brookhavenites are spending money on food and beverages in surrounding counties, and while those counties profit, Brookhaven misses out. If restaurants were able to serve wine and liquor, we would dominate this market as we dominate the auto and ATV market.

Brookhaven has lost many restaurants to our neighboring counties. One of the most recent restaurants that we lost to a neighboring county (so that they can sell wine and liquor by the glass) created 115 permanent jobs.

We need these jobs in Brookhaven.

Since the city of Flowood passed a liquor referendum (2009), they have realized a 34 percent increase in food and beverage sales tax.

Imagine how Brookhaven could improve with a 34 percent annual increase. Imagine how Brookhaven would benefit from 115 new permanent jobs. Brookhaven will always be a wonderful place to live. Allowing the sale of wine and liquor shall make us better.

Please vote for the sale of wine and liquor; vote for economic growth.

Kathy Behan