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Corbin gets over $22,000 in tax revenue off of June beer sales

The first month of sales of packaged beer in Corbin has generated more than $22,000 in tax revenue for the city.

Corbin Alcoholic Beverage Control Officer Bruce Rains said the 12 vendors who have received licenses to sell packaged beer, made payments to the city totaling $22,435.64.

The city's alcohol ordinance calls for a four percent tax on the sale of beer. That means the vendors took in a combined $560,891 from the sale of beer in June.

Despite the volume of beer sold, Rains said everything appeared to in order concerning vendors complying with the terms of sales spelled out in the ordinance.

"Nobody was cited but we did have a few folks call to complain after they had been asked to show ID," said Major Rob Jones, public affairs office at the Corbin Police Department

During that same period, Rains said the city received $6,988.59 in tax revenue from the eight restaurants that offer alcoholic beverages by the drink.

By-the-drink sales are taxed seven percent meaning restaurants took in $99,837 from the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Rains added those number do not include sales at The Arena, which did not post any sales in June nor Basil's Restaurant, which received a license to sell wine in July.

Mayor Willard McBurney said he didn't have any expectations on how much revenue the city might see and is waiting for the August report to see whether there is any drop-off in sales.

"We will have a better idea the next time," McBurney said.

If the numbers remain consistent, the city may see approximately $270,000 annually from the sale of beer and approximately $84,000 from by-the-drink sales.

The three liquor stores permitted inside the city limits will pay a five-percent tax to the city. All three stores are expected to be up and running by Christmas.

City officials estimated the city would receive $400,000 in tax revenue from the alcohol in the 2012-13 budget. Whatever the amount, McBurney said the revenue will be used to fund infrastructure improvements with a priority on repairing the city's sidewalks.

"Right now we are working on the sidewalks on 8th Street," McBurney said. "We have plains to fix the sidewalks on South Main Street."

Commissioner Joe "Butch" White added several other items to the wish list including additional police cars, equipment for the city employees and a new emergency response vehicle for the fire department.

The fire department is now responding to medical calls using the pumper truck. White said the department needs a smaller "rescue" style truck that is easier to maneuver, uses less fuel and leaves the pumper free in the event of a fire.

"It is very well needed given the situation with Knox County," White said, referring to the ongoing battle over occupational tax revenue between Corbin and Knox County.