Monday, February 22, 2010 , Updated 8:41 a.m., May 20, 2010
New group Progress Dallas exceeds goal and launches largest petition drive in Texas history
One proposition being considered is to allow a vote for the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only.
DALLAS UPDATE: The petition drive exceeded its goal. Progress Dallas organizers will present the boxes of signed petitions to the Dallas City Secretary's office on Thursday afternoon.
Progress Dallas a special purpose political action committee has been formed to consider the feasibility of asking voters to support limited alcohol sales in the city limits of Dallas. The group consists of local residents, business and community leaders and many local businesses, and is considering two referendums to call for an election this November. The election would be called if the group collects approximately 68,000 signatures in 60 days, making this the largest petition drive in Texas history.
One proposition being considered is to allow a vote for the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only. This will only allow beer and wine sales in grocery and convenience stores and will not allow package liquor sales. The second proposition would be “for the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only.” This will only allow state recognized restaurants to serve alcohol without requiring the “private club” memberships. This will not allow stand alone bars or nightclubs.
Statement by Gary Huddleston, director of Administration, Kroger Grocery Company; chairman, Texas Retailers Association; food council treasurer, Progress Dallas: “Many customers have requested the convenience of purchasing beer and wine at a supermarket. In addition, we have some supermarkets within the city of limits of Dallas legally selling beer & wine and many that are not allowed to sell beer & wine. In many cases this causes confusion. Also as we look at future locations for new stores, the ability to sell beer & wine is a factor in our decision. Having beer & wine in a supermarket provides for a sales increase for those products as well as other products within the store. As we grow our sales, then we hire more associates. As we grow our sales, more tax revenue is generated.”
Statement by Jamee Jolly, exec. director, Greater Dallas Restaurant Association: “According to the Texas Restaurant Association, it costs restaurants between $ 10,000 to $20,000 per year to comply with state regulations of being a “private club.” This does not generate one dime of sales tax revenue for the city nor does it create jobs. This is just an expense to the restaurant and a nuisance to our customers. We would hope the city of Dallas residents would support an effort to eliminate the private club rules for all Dallas restaurants.”
Progress Dallas has retained Texas Petition Strategies, the top ranked firm in Texas to conduct local option alcohol elections. The group has conducted nearly 200 proposition efforts with an 85% approval rating.
Statement by Sissy Day Partner, Texas Petition Strategies: “We are proud of the fact we have helped so many Texas communities change their laws to allow limited alcohol sales which have generated millions of dollars in sales tax revenues without having to raise local property taxes. We are pleased to be working with Progress Dallas."
Source: Progress Dallas Committee
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