David Miller isn't talking about legalizing packaged alcohol sales in Lubbock. He simply wants the city to benefit from sales tax revenue at the strip. But Lubbock Mayor Marc McDougal says the idea is not a new one and may not be that easy.
Mayor McDougal has been with the City of Lubbock for eight years, four of those as mayor. He says the idea of annexing the strip has been an issue since he started council. "The cost of annexation and the revenue that would be produced as a result of that annexation. It did not warrant an annexation at that time," says McDougal.
Mayoral candidate David Miller says if he's voted into office, he will consider an annexation plan that would put the strip inside the city limits. That would mean the businesses along the strip would have to pay city taxes. "We need expanded revenues to meet the needs of the city. We've cut so much out of our spending as it relates to quality of life issues," said Miller.
He's not the only mayoral candidate who feels that way. "Expanding is what I am for. Everything is moving to the Southwest and it needs to grow to the Southeast," said Gilbert Montes.
Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Martin, who is also running for mayor says he would not consider it. He says it would cost too much money to put in sewer and water pipes and hire additional police officers. He says the revenue from sales tax may not balance those costs.
Two years ago, NewsChannel 11 investigated what would happen if packaged alcohol sales were allowed inside the city limits. The investigation showed at that time the city's sales tax revenue would increase an estimated $860,000 a year and that's just on beer and wine.
"People bring up the idea of additional tax revenue. The problem is that whole justice precinct is a wet precinct and its leased land. So all they have to do is move the liquor stores to the east and they would still be outside the city. So what do you do then? Keep annexing?" said Martin.
NewsChannel 11 was unable to contact mayoral candidate Ysabel Luna to get his thoughts. Miller says he only wants to annex the strip and not bring packaged alcohol sales inside Lubbock. Meanwhile, Martin says keep the packaged alcohol sales outside the city limits altogether he says that's what he citizen's want anyway.
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