By Emily Lewy
Lumpkin County is losing out on all taxes from package sales of distilled spirits paid by our residents to other counties. In this economy, when any tax increase faces great opposition, it is unconscionable that Lumpkin County does not benefit from tax that is already being paid by our residents.
“Package sales of distilled spirits” is controlled by GA Code Section 3-4-41. A petition signed by 35% of the registered voters is the only way to have a referendum of the voters to approve package sales.
A Petition for a Referendum on the Package Sale of Distilled Spirits in Lumpkin County can be presented to the Board of Commissioners of Lumpkin County as soon as we can collect enough signatures. The challenge will be to collect signatures from 5,780 (35%) of the registered voters.
The Presidential Primary scheduled for February 7, 2012 will be the first opportunity for a referendum to take place without additional cost to the county. That’s less than fifteen months away. It may very well take twelve months to collect the 5,780 signatures needed.
The petition drive is underway. Getting such a large number of signatures will require the support of local business, organizations, and all individuals who are concerned about where their tax money goes. Everyone concerned about the loss of sales tax revenue will surely support this effort because residents who drive to another county for liquor make other purchases there as well.
The success of the petition drive will depend on whether or not voters are committed to keeping their tax money in the county. A lot of people will have to collect signatures for this petition drive to be successful. The first few thousand signatures will likely come in fairly quickly. After the first 20% of registered voters have signed, it will be a challenge to find eligible voters who have not signed.
If you will be able to collect signatures, contact Emily Lewy at (706) 864-4613 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information and copies of the petition.
Updates on the petition drive will be available at www.lumpkinsunshine.com.