Election Day is coming fast, and alcohol is on the ballot for two South Plains' communities. The issue is pulling a lot of voters in early.
In Abernathy, voters will decide if beer and wine can be sold in their stores and restaurants, while voters in Plainview will choose whether to have all types of alcohol on store shelves. Opposition is brewing in both communities, but supporters say the change will bring more tax revenue.
Those in favoring of selling packaged alcohol in Plainview say it could bring nearly $190,000 in revenue, but opponents are asking at what cost?
"Our whole campaign has been about economic development," Tom Aday said.
He helped put alcohol on the ballot. Aday says a recent study shows Plainview is missing out on around $12-million in alcohol sales. That could mean an additional $187,000 in sales tax revenue to the city.
"Now those are numbers that we need to keep at home," Aday said.
"We believe that the downside, the risk, and the problems that will come from having alcohol available on any street corner in essence will far out way any benefits that we could receive," Coalition to Protect Our Youths Chair Randy Kaufman said.
The group has signs throughout town opposing alcohol sales.
"TABC, even on their web site, admits that 20% of the stores will sell to minors. That's one out of every five. So, once every five times a minor tries to buy alcohol in a store, they do. Those are not very good odds," Kaufman said.
Group members also worry what businesses could come into town.
"Liquor stores, bars, saloons, night clubs, after alcohol comes into town then generally sexually oriented businesses come into town as well. I think if people realize how broad the spectrum is of potential businesses that could come into town, then I believe that the majority of Plainview will vote against it," Kaufman said.
"I look at it as an economic issue; I don't look at it as a moral issue. If you don't believe in drinking, you're already not drinking. If you do use alcohol, you're already using it, and buying it out of town. We might as well have the economic benefit to our community," Aday said.
Early voting ends November 2nd. The election is November 6th, and you can count on NewsChannel 11 to bring you results from both Plainview's and Abernathy's alcohol votes.
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