Wet-dry election update

Looks like we’ll have that wet-dry election in November. Progress Dallas, the group organizing the petition drive, turned in one-third more signatures than they needed last week.

It also looks like Oak Cliff residents won’t have to vote in two referendums. Progress Dallas’ John Hatch told me he is almost positive one ballot will satisfy the obscure and complicated state law in question.

Meanwhile, city officials, in their infinite wisdom, are already spending the sales tax money they expect to get from a wet vote. The city manager told the council she expects that a decision to sell beer and wine will bring in an extra $11.3 million a year, and about half of that this year. I’ll skip the bit here about how well the city forecasts sales tax revenue; rather, it’s enough to note that Addison, from which we’re supposed to be stealing all those booze tax dollars, has never collected $11.3 million a year in overall sales tax, let alone the liquor portion.

Or as Christoper Carpenter, who studies these things at the University of California at Irvine, told me: “There is usually a shift in tax revenue after a wet-dry election or Sunday sales election, but it’s about timing. It’s not about the overall amount of alcohol that people consume. You’ll see a shift after a wet-dry election, and then the figures, over time, go back to where they were.”

And, finally, for everyone who expects Costco to flock to Dallas after a wet vote, here’s something you probably didn’t know. Costo has 10 stores in New York state, none of which sell beer or wine. It’s illegal for grocery stores in New York state to sell booze.

And, just for the record, I’m a wet. What I’m not is someone who trusts City Hall and their predictions about how a wet vote will solve the budget crisis.


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  • KG

    I lived in NYC for 27 years, that is false about NY state they do sell beer and wine in grocery stores. (A&P, Gristedes, and Stop&shop all sell beer and wine) As a matter of fact if you have two liquor stores on the same street, you have 7 days of week of being able to buy liquor. This is because NY state law says a liquor store must shut down for one day. It is common for owners adjacent to each other to not take like days off, so one store can be other while the other is closed. Quite ingenious I think.

  • Giles Davidson

    I’m a wet, too, and I really don’t care about revenue projections by City Hall from beer/wine sales. But, if we can have a nice wine and cheese shop in Bishop Arts, I definitely vote YES. BTW, I don’t understand your Costco analogy in NY versus Oak Cliff. Costco is able to sell beer/wine in Texas in areas that are wet, and that’s where they locate their stores; there are supporting consumer demographics in wet areas and beer/wine profits are icing on the cake. Since no beer/wine sales are permitted in NY, then the playing field is level throughout NY, thus wet versus dry is not a deciding factor for Costco; it’s based solely on consumer demographics. Are you saying that if Oak Cliff were to vote to allow beer/wine, they would not improve their chances of landing a Costco? I believe Costco would most definitely be interested in Oak Cliff if it votes to sell beer/wine.

  • Michael R

    Actually, grocery stores sell beer in NY, just not wine or liquor.