Back in 2002, Albany leaders told voters that Sunday alcohol sales would help boost the economy. This was only allowed in restaurants with at least 50 percent of their business coming from food, or hotels with 50 percent of their business in lodging. That leadership undoubtedly convinced the majority of voters to say “yes” to the Sunday sales, and it has been a tremendous boost to our economic development.
Finally, Georgia lawmakers passed a Sunday alcohol sales bill allowing Sunday sales in other stores, but it’s up to local communities to decide when or whether to put the issue to the voters.
Where is our elected leadership, educating the public on this very important issue? Right now, no Albany city commissioner or Dougherty County commissioner has even brought up the topic and that’s what it would take to get it on the ballot
Many people drive into Albany, or through Albany, so taxes from Sunday alcohol sales would have the same positive effect we receive from the SPLOST sales tax. Stores tell us they still get numerous out-of-town visitors who are shocked they can’t buy alcohol on Sunday.
We say to our city and county leaders: Show some leadership; we are running out of time to let voters make the decision to iimprove economic development this year.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.