By way of introduction, I am a resident of Alabama who has business interests in New Albany and visits the area quite often. I am very excited at the prospect of economic growth being offered by the upcoming referendum to allow sales of wine and spirits.
This will bring in full-service restaurants, motels, and other businesses, which will improve quality of life for the residents of New Albany as well as providing greatly increased tax revenue for schools and other city services.
As an example, a Dec. 27 article in the Tupelo Journal reported that Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman stated that tax receipts from restaurant income through October 2011 were on track to exceed last year’s record $1.38 million. I realize that New Albany is one-third the size of Starkville, but you do the math.
I have personally contacted city officials in 12 towns in Alabama which have approved such referendums in the past five years. Without exception, each reported a decrease in DUIs and domestic violence, while seeing strong increases in tax revenue. Sheldon Day, mayor of Thomasville, Ala., population 4,422, stated that they had experienced an increase of some $500,000 in tax revenue per year for the schools and municipal services.
I hope the good citizens of New Albany and Union County will take advantage of this opportunity and vote for the legal sale of wine and spirits on Jan. 10.