I voted wet for many reasons, many of which appear on A Vote for Growth’s Facebook page. First and foremost, our public schools need additional revenues to stop the decline in student population. Education for my child is vitally important to me, and we need tax revenues to retain good teachers.
Second, by demonizing alcohol instead of educating our children about it, we leave them without the capability to make responsible choices about alcohol when they leave home. Several studies (along with anecdotes from the drys) show that alcohol abuse is actually greater in dry areas. I want my child, when he goes to college, to be empowered to make good decisions about alcohol.
Third, we’ll see additional tax revenues from local sales and excise taxes on alcohol sales. That is, we’ll see a 1.5% sales tax and up to 8% excise tax on retail alcohol sales, all of which will stay in our county. Anyone that tells you something else isn’t being fully truthful, hasn’t read the law, or both.
Fourth, We’ll also see improvement in our $108,000,000/year “leakage” of retail sales losses to Garland and Pulaski Counties, which will help fill our tax coffers. We’ll also gain new retail sales from other nearby dry county residents who shop here instead of Hot Springs.
Fifth, according to traffic crash statistics from the Arkansas State Police, alcohol-related fatalities actually decline in wet counties.
Sixth, voting wet gives our county the best chance of long-term, sustainable growth. Baxter County gives us the best example of what a wet vote, coupled with other long-range projects to attract tourists and retirees, can do for a county. They’ve seen long-term, sustainable growth without all the negative things we’re being warned about. As one example, their county spends 25% less per capita on law enforcement than we do but has a comparable crime rate.
Seventh, every single newspaper report I’ve seen about other communities voting wet have been positive. Those towns see increased taxes, lower DUI and alcohol-related fatalities, and no increase in crime.
Eighth, adults in this county should have the personal freedom to make adult choices without interference from people who disagree with them.
Ninth, our county gave the “try dry” growth model a chance for 70 years, and it hasn’t worked. It’s time to try something new.
Tenth, going wet is the green thing to do. Instead of wasting untold thousands of gallons of gas every year driving to Hot Springs, our citizens can reduce pollution and spend their fuel savings locally.
These are just some of the reasons I voted wet. If you’re unsure or you don’t agree with some of my reasons, I encourage you to do your own independent research, so you’re fully and objectively informed before you cast your vote.