Hard Alcohol Sales Up for Vote in Plano - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Hard Alcohol Sales Up for Vote in Plano

City voters to decide if alcohol sales should expand to include liquor



    Plano voters will decide if they will be able to buy hard liquor at their neighborhood beer and wine stores. (Published Monday, April 29, 2013)

    Plano voters are considering whether to take their city from "damp" to "wet."

    The city currently allows the sale of beer and wine, but a measure on the ballot would allow stores to add liquor to their shelves. Liquor stores would also be allowed to set up shop in Plano.

    The special local option election was added to the ballot after the city was presented with a petition.

    Bob Bodar, manager of Kegs & Barrels, said the proposal would double his business. He said he fields between two and three calls per day from potential customers looking for hard alcohol but has to direct them to other cities, such as Dallas or The Colony.

    "I think we ought to have the tax money here and not give it to somebody else," said resident Mary Nell Gamble, who said she voted for the measure.

    "The money that is being spent on alcohol -- sales tax revenue -- is going to other communities now," said Bill Campbell, another resident who voted for it. "We need to keep that local."

    But other residents oppose the move.

    Save Plano recently put up a billboard along the Dallas North Tollway that says the city could see as many as 150 liquor stores pop up within its boundaries if the option passes.

    The organization says it based the number on population density in comparison with Lubbock, a city that passed a similar option within the past five years and had liquor stores come to town.

    "We don't need that," said Darshini Desai, a resident who said she is planning to vote against the measure.

    "I'm very against alcohol," she said. "Anything that you make easy access, people will get it more."

    City leaders have said that the potential sales tax impact of hard alcohol sales in the city limits could be in the millions.

    The city of Anna, one of the few in Collin County to be fully wet instead of only allowing beer and wine sales, is reportedly watching Plano's election closely.

    Early voting began Monday. Election Day is May 11.