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Walton School releases "wet county" economic study

Posted: July 2, 2014 - 10:57am

Click here to read the report.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business has released its report on the projected impact of alcohol sales in Faulkner County.

According to the report, if the county had been "wet" in 2013, residents would have spent about $28 million on alcohol, generating about $141,000 in county tax revenue. Imagining a 2013 in which alcohol was sold "in Conway and Greenbrier," the report states, about $282,000 in new city taxes would have been raised.

Other cities in Faulkner County do not meet the 5,000-resident population threshold for alcohol sales, but up to 10 alcohol sales permits could go to unincorporated areas of the county, according to the report. 

Also, with a projection that half of the permitted retail alcohol businesses would be building new liquor stores, the county (mostly Conway) would see about $59,000 in new property tax money.

Adding in about $45,000 in tax money raised by more "full-service restaurants" opening in the county because "the added expense involved from having a private club license in order to serve alcohol would be removed" and the economic impact of new jobs and construction, the report states, and alcohol sales "would have generated previously non-existent recurring economic impacct of $11,324,158, dollars that would remain in Faulkner County."

The initiative to put a "wet/dry" vote on the November ballot is being led by the Our Community, Our Dollars commmittee, which gets its main funding from Walmart and Kum & Go. A Sam’s Club is planned for Conway, and when it opens Walmart would have four places to sell alcohol in Conway.

It has been reported by national news organizations, including Bloomberg, that Walmart has plans to double its alcohol sales by 2016, and the Our Community, Our Dollars committee’s chairman, Jay Allen of Rogers, is formerly Walmart’s senior vice president of corporate affairs.

The effort to keep Faulkner County "dry" is led by the They Win, You Lose committee, which has ties with the Conway County Legal Beverages Association. 

The Faulkner County Quorum Court passed a resolution expressing the preference of its members that the county remain "dry" last month after JP Steve Goode presented figures he said show that an increase in DWI offenses and alcohol-related crime will create a need for more deputies and jail resources, which he said will result in a net loss if the county goes "wet." The vote was unanimous, but two JPs were absent. 

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tracking wolf
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tracking wolf 07/02/14 - 11:16 am
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I just gonna guess without

I just gonna guess without reading that whatever findings they reached are in favor of legallizing alcohol sales in Faulkner Co. Did the LCD publish this without thinking there could be a conflict of interest by the "Walton college of Buisiness" Could they not find a report from someone without an agenda? Maybe next we could hear what Kum-N-Go's report finds.

ucantbserious
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ucantbserious 07/02/14 - 11:35 am
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No surprise here.

What I would like to see is a study done on the before and after expenses by city and county governments for having to deal with a wet county. Do they then have to make more expenditures? Are more officers required? Do jails crowd faster? More prosecutors needed? etc.

Such expenditures could potentially consume the $282k tax revenue and then some.

I'm not saying that is absolutely the case but surely it is a possibility. I would be very interested in seeing a study done on that as opposed to something as superficial as "selling something will generate tax revenue." A kindergartner could figure that one out.

justoffcenter
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justoffcenter 07/03/14 - 07:19 am
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A simple google search

Within a minute online I found answers to all your questions. Look the stuff up. All the studies I found show a decrease in DWI accidents and less LEO activities. Really you can't be serious.

The DOJ, a study from Alabama, Kentucky, and Texas. I kept my search regional.

ucantbserious
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ucantbserious 07/03/14 - 10:04 am
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Question

Did Wal-Mart do those studies too? ;)

justoffcenter
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justoffcenter 07/03/14 - 10:33 am
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Really?

No, the research was complied by the DOJ (I said that already) and some city or state governments.

Dang dude, look the crap up. It really only took 1 minute.

ucantbserious
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ucantbserious 07/03/14 - 12:01 pm
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That should be fine.

I'm pretty good at doing things in less than a minute. ;)

alipage72
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alipage72 07/02/14 - 11:35 am
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Good or bad

We can get both sides of the issue and print it up big and bold. It doesn't matter. What SHOULD matter is that the people WHO LIVE HERE have THE RIGHT TO VOTE on this issue. Be it voted wet or dry, this is our home and WE should have the right for it to be on a ballot.

Elmer Fudd
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Elmer Fudd 07/02/14 - 11:36 am
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Or

The Southern Baptist Church. Think the results could be different? Of course all of us know Wal-Mart is pushing for wet. Ummmm Sam Walton and Wal-Mart.

Igor Rabinowitz
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Igor Rabinowitz 07/02/14 - 11:51 am
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The numbers speak for themselves

... as does the scholarship of the study producing them (having to do with the academic rigor which allows, if not encourages, such things as peer review).

I realize this is Ineternets where cynicism is used in place of wisdom, but again:

$11,324,158

(Speaking of rigor, this is a substantial difference from the Quorum Court "study.")

This revenue, when held against needs for improvements/bond issues/plans for Conway is especially significant.

Elmer Fudd
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Elmer Fudd 07/02/14 - 12:39 pm
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Oh Igor

you are so cynical. Pun intended. My post was all in fun however I feel as did Thomas Jefferson "vigilant and distrustful superintendence" sometimes is called for. Certainly when dealing with any government body. While it is not the case here I feel you can slant any information to fit your agenda.

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