Please add to your committee's agenda for this coming Thursday night, the proposal to repeal Benton's current liquor tax. I support the repeal because, in my opinion:
1. Revenues are far below our most conservative estimates.
2. The lack of revenues does not justify the added burden on business owners to collect the tax (thinking mostly of the independents and local owners of restaurant franchises).
3. When I voted in favor of the tax, it was my understanding that Bryant's city council would pass a similar tax with no issues. I agree with others that our decision is independent of Bryant. However, that previous misunderstanding prevented our debate of a competitive disadvantage for our business owners.
4. I was not aware, at the time of our approval, that Arkansas statute forbids holders of liquor licenses in dry counties from making wholesale purchase agreements with their distributors. This adverse State law magnifies the liquor tax issue for our business owners.
The committee took no action on Moore's request.
The alcohol tax passed by a City Council vote in December 2011. Data presented to the council projected $200,000 in revenues annually. So far, Moore says the city is on track to collect about $45,000.
Ten businesses are currently required to pay the five percent Alcohol Tax.