Alcohol tax boosting Jonesboro's general revenue fund

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

In July of this year, the alcohol tax generated more than 20 thousand dollars.  That's almost double what was generated just a month before.

"The only two things to contribute that to I think one would be the increase we had from the 3 to 5.  Plus, again, we've got one or two more people that's on the list this year that wasn't on the list in 2008," said Perrin.

The money generated by the alcohol tax goes to the city's general revenue fund.  A big chunk of that money goes to public safety which includes the Jonesboro Police Department for things like manpower and equipment.

"It's about what I would have expected," said Jonesboro Police Chief, Mike Yates.

Yates says he isn't surprised by the alcohol tax numbers at all.

He says in general if the county were to go wet, the aggregate total number of dollars coming in from an alcohol beverage tax probably would go up, but he said that wouldn't  be the only increase.

"Your demand for service rises proportionately to how many you have, how they're maintained--things like that," said Yates.

He says there's a tipping point as to whether the revenue from the tax equates to your demand for police service. He says in Jonesboro, thanks in part to the rules and regulations for alcohol selling establishments,  that scale is balanced or maybe tips in favor of the revenue.

"If it went the other way and our demand for service went way up, demand for service would eat the increase in the alcohol beverage tax up very quickly.   It would consume it, so it's not such a simple answer," said Yates.

Mayor Harold Perrin says the often controversial question of wet versus dry is something taxpayers and voters would have to decide.  In the meantime.....

"We did pass our local ordinance so that we could have control over the establishments that we have here in Jonesboro.   I think that was good foresight on the city council when we did that," said Perrin.

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