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.