Several people have used Cuney as an example of what they think would be a terrible picture of the monetary rewards of legal alcohol sales for Jacksonville. I would ask these folks to not just stop with the reasoning that supports their personal bias against alcohol, but to think about the circumstances behind Cuney.

Cuney was engineered to be the site in Cherokee County for legal alcohol sales and to keep folks from driving hours to buy beer. Unlike Jacksonville, Cuney has no other product to support the town. No grocery chain, no WalMart. They have only the alcohol sales. Much like New Summerfield having to depend on natural gas sales to support their town, all they have is the 2 percent alcohol tax that provides police and supports other city functions. To compare Jacksonville to Cuney is comparing apples to oranges.

The example was given that only $20,000 in tax was realized for sales of each $1 million. Each $1 million made does not stay in Cuney — only the tax. The owners of the stores do not live there. Unlike Cuney, the storeowners in Jacksonville live in the community. They will spend their money here and hire people here to help with the increase in business. People will buy groceries or gas when they stop to buy beer and increase their business even more. There are many more considerations other than just tax revenue for monetary benefits.

One personal monetary benefit for Jacksonville residents would be the reduction of the cost of your beverage. It will save you an hour of time by not driving to Rusk or Cuney and will save you a couple of gallons of high-priced gas. The cost of your six-pack will drop to less than half of what it now costs you, and you can pick up the bread and milk at the same stop. Even a child can figure that out.

Dennis Harper


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