Pros and cons of Sunday alcohol sales

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WHAT PROPONENTS ARE SAYING

• The availability of retail alcohol on Sundays will draw shoppers to Au­gusta. Grovetown approved Sunday sales in November, but the rest of Columbia County residents won’t vote on the measure until July.

“The only way you receive the additional revenue is if you’re the first,” district Republican Party Chairman Dave Barbee said. Also, Augusta would lose Sunday sales business to other counties if they pass the measure and Augusta does not.

• It will mean more tax revenue. Augusta adds $2.7 million in wholesale excise taxes on packaged beer, wine and liquor to the city’s general fund every year. In Grovetown, the only city in the Georgia side of the region that has approved the sales, excise taxes connected with eight alcohol retailers have generated an additional $2,000 a month in revenue.

“So far, we haven’t seen any negative results,” Grovetown City Administrator Shirley Beasley said. Augusta has more than 400 retailers that would be eligible to sell alcohol.

• It will create license fees. Augusta officials haven’t determined whether an additional license will be required of retailers who want to sell alcohol on Sundays, though the referendum, if approved, would allow the city to permit and regulate Sunday package sales as of March 31.

“If you want to sell on Sundays, you’re going to have to pay the piper,” said Augusta Commission member Joe Jackson, who expects the referendum to pass. “That’s an additional revenue generator.”

• Why not? Adults can buy alcohol every other day of the week, and in restaurants on Sundays, so why not allow retailers to sell on Sundays?

“We like Sunday sales,” said Tim Schroer, the city’s deputy finance director, who grew up in Minnesota, where retail sales were prohibited on Sundays and recently got a thrill buying wine near Atlanta on a Sunday for the first time. Barbee said the availability of alcohol on Sundays is unlikely to increase consumption, only “spread the wealth from six days to seven days.”

• It will create jobs. Having a store open on Sunday will likely require some of the city’s 34 liquor stores to hire additional workers, while more than 300 other businesses engaged in alcohol sales might need more people to handle the extra Sunday traffic.

WHAT OPPONENTS  ARE SAYING

• Sunday alcohol will increase crime.

“Alcohol is a contributing factor in many domestic-related calls,” sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said. “We anticipate an increase in domestic-related calls on Sundays because more people are drinking at home.”

• It will have limited economic benefits. Adopting Sunday retail alcohol sales will generate some additional revenue, but not that much.

“I just don’t see where it’s going to generate a significant amount,” Augusta Finance Director Donna Williams said. Augusta Com­mis­sion member Jerry Brigham favors letting voters decide, but “I don’t think it’s going to be a windfall for us,” he said.

• It will have religious and family consequences. Pastors, especially in black churches, expect Sunday sales to be a topic in several of today’s sermons.

“The Bible speaks of what (excess consumption) can do to our thinking and our attitudes,” said the Rev. Larry Fryer, the pastor of Hud­son Memorial CME Church. “With all the violence and criminal activity, those that misuse this substance can create additional problems in the community.” Retired Augusta State University political science professor Ralph Walker said he expected a city deeply rooted in the Bible Belt to vote the measure down. GOP party Chairman Dave Barbee recalled his youth when on Sundays they didn’t buy gasoline or go shopping, much less buy alcohol.

“We’ve strayed away from those hard-core biblical principles,” he said.

The Rev. K.B. Martin, the pastor of Anti­och Baptist Church, agreed: “We’ve disregarded so many things relative to the day of worship. I would hope the Chris­tian community would oppose Sunday sales.”

Pastor Bryan Cockrell, of Sanctuary Church, said his Pentecostal congregation believes, according to Scripture, “to remember the Lord’s day and keep it holy. I believe the focus on his day should be on Him.”

• Stopping illegal operations will be difficult. Augusta hasn’t determined whether to require an additional Sunday sales permit, but if it does, inspectors will have to ensure establishments lacking the permits aren’t selling on Sundays, city licensing Director Rob Sherman said.

• Liquor stores appreciate the day off. Phillip Song, the owner of Superstar Wine & Spirits on Deans Bridge Road, said he has considered placing “Vote No on Sunday Sales” on his sign because Sunday is a welcome day of rest for liquor store owners. Still, if his competitors start selling and he’s missing out, he’ll open: “I’m not going to open right away. If my sales go down, I’m going to start opening on Sunday.”


Comments (17)

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Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/03/12 - 11:25 pm
1
5

We've definitely strayed from

We've definitely strayed from biblical principles. I wish the community would look at drug use and the problems it causes as well.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 03/04/12 - 02:40 am
4
0

sunday is communion day.

Unpublished

sunday is communion day. jesus was always with the wine.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 03/04/12 - 07:13 am
1
2

From the article:"• It will

From the article:"• It will create license fees. Augusta officials haven’t determined whether an additional license will be required of retailers who want to sell alcohol on Sundays, though the referendum, if approved, would allow the city to permit and regulate Sunday package sales as of March 31."

Never lose a chance to raise taxes, especially a "sin" tax.

meginlea
36
Points
meginlea 03/04/12 - 08:31 am
3
0

I am just interested in the

I am just interested in the things that people choose to be 'religious' about on the Sabbath in juxtaposition to the things the bible clearly speaks against but that others don't choose to be 'religious' about on the Sabbath. Does every person who speaks against the sale of alcohol on Sunday also speak against lying, having premarital sex, adultery, taking the Lord's name in vain, lust, unrighteous anger, drug use, selfishness, etc. on the Sabbath as well, and can we create some laws about those things? Or are those things left to the individuals to monitor? Up North, people seem to have a more 'all hands on' or 'all hands off' approach to state and religion, and I totter back and forth from wondering if I like that better or not. Just thoughts- don't berate me please.

Bonk
8
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Bonk 03/04/12 - 09:25 am
4
1

AUGUSTA COMMISSION: KEEP YOUR

AUGUSTA COMMISSION: KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT OF OUR POCKETS!! if this passes, the citizens are sending a clear message that Sunday is NOT a special day, as far as alcohol is concerned. If the commission requires a special permit for Sunday sales then they are overriding the will of the people and telling us "we don't care what you think, you are wrong, we are still considering Sunday a special day so we can add to government coffers". Why don't you crooks just start charging me a special tax for EVERYTHING I do on Sundays? Like driving a car, going to the store, or breathing augusta's air? While you're at it, starting charging the Jewish shop owners more for selling on Saturdays and charge the Muslim shop owners more for selling on Fridays. That'll raise revenue and keep things fair, religiously speaking. Note to ACC: Sunday is NOT a special day, as far as government is concerned. Got that? Kthxbye.

TrukinRanger
1556
Points
TrukinRanger 03/04/12 - 09:49 am
0
0

So, the main opposition to

Unpublished

So, the main opposition to Sunday alcohol sales are: More crime, which is bologna because those who drink heavily are already going to have the alcohol in the house no matter what day of the week it is. The other reason is because of churches telling us not to allow it. Since churches are not a part of the government then their opinion (as a church not as an individual) shouldn't count. Get with the program Georgia (and anywhere else it is banned on Sunday's)- it's about people's rights. Not everyone has the same beliefs or is on the same schedule. Sometimes Sunday's are people's only day off and they may want to enjoy a drink outside of the current guidelines. I doubt it would raise more money or cause more crime. It will just get rid of an archaic law that should have been gone long ago.

avidreader
2629
Points
avidreader 03/04/12 - 10:20 am
1
3

I am a statistic! I left the

I am a statistic! I left the church many years ago, and it's unlikely that I will ever return. However, I have an immense respect for those who are commited to a better world through their faith in God. People of many religions maintian a need to keep Sunday as a hallowed day of prayer and family unity. Why can't our community respect this and for once, give in to the needs of our friends and families who hold this day sacred?

Is one additional day of aclohol sales going to make a big difference? Why can't we support our church-going neighbors and simply say, NO, it's not worth it? Why can't we consider Sunday a day to slow down and relax?

Is it so difficult to visit a local package shop or BiLo on a Saturday afternoon and stock up for Sunday? One might remark, "Sunday is not a special day". But to many principled Christians, Sunday is symbolic of their faith and values.

Bonk
8
Points
Bonk 03/04/12 - 10:18 am
5
0

"Sunday is symbolic of their

"Sunday is symbolic of their faith and values." so we're passing laws based on religious symbols? We are closer to Saudi Arabia than you think.

Bonk
8
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Bonk 03/04/12 - 10:24 am
6
0

BTW the god of my religion is

BTW the god of my religion is Thor and we are not allowed to make purchases from 8-11 AM on Wednesdays and from 1-3 PM on Thursdays (even numbered years only). Who on the commission do I approach about getting a county wide ban? It offends me when I see people out shopping during these hours.

itsanotherday1
34725
Points
itsanotherday1 03/04/12 - 10:26 am
6
0

" Why can't our community

" Why can't our community respect this and for once, give in to the needs of our friends and families who hold this day sacred?"

All who hold this day sacred are free to observe the sabbath in the manner their religious teachings tell them. They are free to sit at home in the dark all day, not cook, walk everywhere they go, etc. etc.; if that is how their Sabbath should be observed.
The one thing they can't do is impose that religious belief on others.

avidreader
2629
Points
avidreader 03/04/12 - 10:26 am
5
0

Bonk, your bold comment is so

Bonk, your bold comment is so inspiring that I've decided to change my mind. Everyone, please ignore my earlier sentiments. I guess my position smacks of another Church vs. State debate.

Bonk
8
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Bonk 03/04/12 - 10:36 am
6
0

Avidreader and itsanotherday:

Avidreader and itsanotherday: glad to count you as friends on here. I would always allow for religious beliefs to be practiced in a private, non governmental setting. But I always say to those: "Everyone has the right to believe anything they want, no matter how illogical. And everyone else has the right to believe it freaking ridiculous."

seenitB4
72776
Points
seenitB4 03/04/12 - 10:40 am
3
0

Bonk..I really like your

Bonk..I really like your posts & your name too!!LOL

Bonk
8
Points
Bonk 03/04/12 - 10:51 am
2
0

That charpei is one cool

That charpei is one cool looking little dude.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 03/04/12 - 10:53 am
5
1

Just because someone is

Just because someone is selling something on Sunday, it doesn't mean you have to be buying something on Sunday. Keep your "special day" in the way you see fit and let others keep their "special day" in the way they see fit. It is a mote/plank issue.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/04/12 - 02:50 pm
3
0

To the opponents.......Why

Unpublished

To the opponents.......Why have you not been protesting to get them to stop Sunday sales in restaurants?? Are you that blind to think people are not getting drunk on Sunday????

Liquor stores enjoy that day off?? Well ya know what, Sunday sales does not force an business owner to be open a day he does not wish to! And dont say he will be losing money, that already happens when people go to restaurants or the 10 minute drive to Grovetown.

Geesh you have to wonder about people who have no logical argument other than they want to force their likes/dislikes on others. These must also be non smoking advocates!!!!!

I now know which Church not to attend, which liquor store to never go to....and Really Scott Gay... this is a surprise. I always thought more of you. You honestly dont have very many Sunday domestic drinking related calls. Yeah dont let them buy alcohol, crack is easier to get anyway!!!! Must be a PR thing to look good to friends and his own church, I can't imagine that is a valid argument to him. Just WOW!

csraguy
1797
Points
csraguy 03/04/12 - 03:16 pm
5
0

I could care less either way.

I could care less either way. If people want to drink on Sunday or any other day, they will either buy it during the week or go to a restaurant/bar and drink. Many people grocery shop on Sunday so it will be an added convenience to buy the 12 pack for the week at the same time vs. having to stop at a gas station on Saturday.

The revenue impact will be minimal unless of course you can't buy it in Columbia County or other places close to Richmond County which will bring a few shoppers over for beer and they will most likely buy other products at the same time.

As for generating revenue, bars and restaurants have to pay around $750.00 to sell on Sunday's and all other stores should do the same - this will help to generate some revenue although much of it would need to then go to enforcement of the laws to have a permit, etc.

Bonk
8
Points
Bonk 03/04/12 - 03:16 pm
5
0

Actually if you examine Gay's

Actually if you examine Gay's and Fryer's comments closely, they state the problems with alcohol--period. And that's the way it should be. Do we want alcohol or not? At anytime. Leave Sunday out of it. To a government that is not supposed to promote one religion over another, Sunday carries as much weight as the other six. I still don't see how clear headed people let Georgia get away with this crap for so long.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/04/12 - 06:53 pm
3
0

Exactly Bonk!!! Have it or

Unpublished

Exactly Bonk!!! Have it or not all 7 days!! =)

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/04/12 - 07:27 pm
2
0

Thanks for that info csraguy,

Unpublished

Thanks for that info csraguy, I was wondering if that fee went for all or just non-restaurant establishments! =)

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/04/12 - 07:41 pm
0
0

Anyone know what the status

Unpublished

Anyone know what the status of sales on Christmas day and election day are? I do not drink enough to know if these have already been lifted, but I see they were law, at least at one time. Thanks =)

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/04/12 - 07:50 pm
3
0

Avidreader, no it is not that

Unpublished

Avidreader, no it is not that difficult for a regular drinker. Unless money is an issue I don't ever see them complaining, but to someone, like myself, who rarely drinks, it is!! I don't want it kept in stock around my house for that once or twice a year, Sunday may be a day spur of the moment, kids out of the house, a good game on, I might would like to partake. As a taxpaying adult wanting a legal substance I should be able to purchase it, not spend 10-15 in gas going to Aiken to get one or 2 said drinks! (Well Grovetown now =) The biggest kicker was when I had a chance to make a dish I have been wanting to make for family one day and they had the chance to come by last minute, I go to buy the wine and get to the counter and they say sorry its Sunday and I had to use salty cooking wine. Ruined my dinner because I never cooked with that stuff!! Yes it only a once in a blue moon inconvenience, but as Grown taxpaying citizens, that should not be dictated by the government!! =)

ForeverFrog
1
Points
ForeverFrog 03/05/12 - 11:59 am
4
0

Bonk, you are my new hero!!!

Bonk, you are my new hero!!!

troym40
0
Points
troym40 03/12/12 - 05:54 pm
2
0

Hey religious zealots! The

Hey religious zealots! The actual application of someone buying alcohol on Sunday will have absolutely ZERO effect on YOUR day or YOUR religion. If you are someone who is religious and does not like buy alcohol on Sunday....then don't. But guess what, there are alot of people who don't share your view points or your religion.

So think about it, whether you are in church on Sunday, or maybe your having family over for a nice dinner and you pray before you eat. None of that changes, all of that still holds a significant value in your heart and soul. And the fact that someone is at the liquor store buying some beer at the exact time you are reading the bible, or praying, changes nothing.

Your day is not ruined, and your religion is not ruined. So stop pushing your religious opinion on everyone else....and be open minded enough to realize that there are alot of people who do not think like you. For if people do think like you then the bill for alcohol sales would not have passed to begin with.

KSL
105947
Points
KSL 03/12/12 - 07:02 pm
0
0

Great comments.

Great comments.

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