Alcohol tax collections in Corbin on track to surpass $550,000 projection
Officials are expecting a “holiday boost” in tax revenue from liquor sales in Corbin following two straight months of robust collections from October and November of 2012.
Bruce Rains, Assistant Chief of Police and Corbin’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Administrator, reports that total liquor tax collections for Nov. 2012 were $65,307.27, up around $2,000 from the prior month. Of that amount, beer retailers accounted for $17,277.97. The town’s two liquor stores pitched in the lion’s share of the tax revenue, $42,479.97. Sales of alcohol by the drink at restaurants produced $5,549.33 in taxes.
Collections for the month of December are not due until Jan. 20.
Rains said the effect of Corbin’s two liquor stores could be seen in the dip in sales of beer at other location. In October, 2012, beer-only sellers accounted for $24,583.96 — nearly $6,000 more in tax revenue than in November.
“It’s pretty obvious there has been an impact there,” Rains said. “I think a lot of people are just buying beer at the liquor stores because they can get whatever they want there. They aren’t limited.”
Corbin’s third and final liquor store, Ernie’s Wine and Spirits, will be opening this year at it’s location behind Applebee’s off Cumberland Falls Hwy. Rains said it is unknown whether the addition of another liquor store will result in a significant bump in tax collection, or if the pie will just be split more ways.
But so far, local officials have been pleased with tax revenues.
Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said projections regarding alcohol taxes have been met or exceeded so far. The city budgeted $550,000 for liquor tax revenue for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
“When we worked up the budget we made a forecast and it’s been about right on target,” McBurney said. “It’s given us some freedom that we’ve not had before to deal with unforeseen circumstances without having to borrow money.”
Officials say the money is being mostly used on “quality of life” improvements in town.
McBurney said roughly $125,000 is being used for sidewalk replacement and repair.
“This town’s sidewalks have deteriorated to the point that they were terrible,” McBurney said. “That’s something we really wanted to see fixed and improved.”
The money has also allowed for the emergency replacement of a pump at the underpass on Roy Kidd Ave., and will be used to purchase new police cruisers and for expansion and remodeling of the Corbin Fire Department.
Also, McBurney noted that the added money to the city coffers has, for the first time, enabled the city to significantly reduce the cost of business licenses. Late last year, the five-member Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance slashing business license fees roughly 50 percent across the board.
Rains said liquor sales typically spike around Christmas and New Years Day, which he predicts, will make Dec. 2012 the biggest month yet for alcohol tax revenue.
And so far, police are reporting the expanded sale of alcohol in town has not produced any noticeable uptick in the number of DUI drivers on the roadways.
“It hasn’t come true yet,” Rains said. “For some reason, I guess people are going home to drink. We haven’t noticed much of a change.”
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