Petitions seeking alcohol election
Approximately 110 Dublin residents have signed a petition being circulated for a vote to allow the sale of alcohol and mixed beverages within the city limits.
The petition was filed by Jesica and Dillon Richey through Blackjack East LLC, but Dublin entrepreneur Mark Ellis said there are many business owners and residents who have expressed interest.
“We want to promote the American way,” Ellis said. “We simply want the petition to allow us to vote and the people can say whether they want it or not.”
Dublin residents who are registered to vote can sign the document through Nov. 20. The petition needs 295 signatures to reach the polls although organizers are seeking 550 to ensure they have enough unique signatures. A similar petition was passed last year but 75 signatures were disqualified due to reasons like people signing more than once.
Petitions are up for signing at Dublin Dog Den, Dublin Insurance Agency and Granny Clark’s. Organizers are also setting up signing tables around town periodically with events already at Higginbotham’s and Taqueria Rio y Mariscos.
Ellis said that if the decision reached the polls and passed, it would generate more sales tax for the city and ease the sales tax burden for individuals.
Ellis cited other cities who have benefitted from allowing alcohol sales such as Anna, Texas. According to the Dallas Morning News, the small town’s sales tax collections were $353,781 in 2005 before the voters decided to allow liquor sales. The number reportedly swelled to $767,497 by 2009 (an increase of 117 percent).
The Texarkana Gazette reported a similar situation in Redwater, Texas, whose monthly sales tax collections increased from $3,500 to around $8,000 per month after the city decide to go wet in 2015. Mayor Robert Lorance was quoted as saying that increase revenue allowed the city to provide additional services and infrastructure improvements.
It was also noted that the passage could lead to job creation and an increase in tourism. Those looking for the vote cite a desire to have things like a beer with pizza or margaritas with Mexican food.
The passage would also allow for more option for wineries or those looking to make their own craft beer.
A passage would also open the door for a business that some have felt was needed in Dublin for years: an Irish pub. An authentic Irish pub selling authentic, homemade food and drinks would be unique to the area and most of the state.
Dublin EDC Executive Director Karen Wright reported that a consultant from A&M, Dr. Peter Tarlow, was hired years ago to work on a vision and tourism for Dublin.
“His first question was ‘if you say you’re Irish, where’s your Irish pub?,’” Wright remembered. “He said we needed to invest in being the Irish Capital of Texas if we have the designation.”
If enough signatures are gathered by Nov. 20, Dublin voters will be able to decide on whether to allow alcohol sales during May elections.