Commonwealth Journal

Local News

November 15, 2012

Alcohol revenue will benefit city

Mayor anticipates liquor store licenses by January

Somerset —  

The City of Somerset will have a lot to be thankful for next week when it becomes clear how much money they’re likely to make off of local beer sales.
At Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting, Mayor Eddie Girdler said that city officials would know shortly what the regulatory frees from the current businesses selling alcohol would put into the city coffers.
“Knock on wood, things have gone remarkably smoothly,” said Girdler at the meeting. “We haven’t had any complaints.”
Well, with one exception: Girdler quipped to much laughter that a lady had recently sent him a letter calling him “an idiot ... but other than that, the rest of it has been pretty smooth.”
Girdler told the Commonwealth Journal that based on conversations with neighboring cities that have recently undergone transitions to full-scale alcohol sales (as opposed to just restaurants) like Corbin and Danville, he believes the first full month will bring about $35,000 to $45,000 in regulatory fee revenue.
Though the first alcohol sales occurred in September, it wasn’t until October that most all the establishments selling beer or serving spirits and wine by the drink were in place. The numbers will be in around November 20, he said.
The issue was raised Monday when Councilor Jim Rutherford asked whether a specific fund needed to be set up for those monies. By Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) mandate, revenue generated by alcohol sales must go to administration or enforcement of alcohol policies, which includes the town’s police department.
However, “by virtue of doing that, it fees money up for other items,” said Girdler. In other words, the more alcohol can fund the police department, the less the city has to from other tax revenues and can do other things with that money. 
He added that because of the way Somerset in particular operates, the police department is included in the general fund, and as such, the alcohol revenue will be going into that fund, even if it is purposed very specifically.

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