"The Strip" Could Stop Tax Increase - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/17/06

"The Strip" Could Stop Tax Increase

The city of Lubbock could soon benefit from liquor sales.  City leaders are proposing annexing the area known as "The Strip", just south of Lubbock along the Tahoka highway.  If approved, the city could earn more than half-a-million dollars a year in tax revenue.  $500,000 would come from sales tax.  Mayor David Miller tells us that in 2007-2008, they could also take in more than $30,000 in property taxes.

"As we look for additional revenues, we're looking everywhere," said Miller  Thursday that searched moved towards "The Strip". Mayor Miller brought up the annexation issue during his campaign, but many wonder, if the strip is moved within city limits, would packaged alcohol sales be legalized as well?  "The answer is no. This does not open alcohol sales to the remainder of the city of Lubbock," said Miller. 

That's because, more than 40-years ago, voters approved packaged alcohol sales only in the justice of the peace precinct where "The Strip" is located.  That precinct does not extend into the rest of the city.  "Even if the precinct did, the way the law is written, there would have to be another election to allow additional alcohol sales at your grocery store or convenience store," said Miller.

Council members will begin the annexation process during their next council meeting.  Mayor Miller tells us it's about a two month process.  If approved, the property taxes would not be levied until the 2007-2008 fiscal year, and sales taxes would not be levied until January 1st of the current fiscal year. 

Mayor Miller tells us he has spoken to a few key proprietors at "The Strip", and he says there are no serious objections.  We asked council members their thoughts on the issue. Council members Linda DeLeon, Gary Boren, John Leonard, and Jim Gilbreath say they support the annexation.  Councilman Floyd Price tells us he's against it, saying the city should only annex land when necessary.  Councilwoman Phyllis Jones says she sees the benefits, but wants to hear more before making a decision.

Right now, the issue should be on next Thursday's city council meeting agenda.  Of course, we'll be there and we'll let folks know what happens.

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