September 3, 2009 8:37:00 AM
The State Tax Commission said it has neither "approved nor denied" Starkville''s request to allow Sunday alcohol sales, after reports surfaced Wednesday that the Tax Commission''s Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control had issued a preliminary denial of the city''s request to allow restaurants to sell wine and spirits by the glass on Sundays.
The Tax Commission wants to investigate Starkville''s request further before it makes an official decision, said Tax Commission spokeswoman Kathy Waterbury.
"During their meeting this morning, the Commission continued their discussion of the city''s request for an extension (of hours) and they determined right now that they are not going to issue any decision on Sunday sales until further research is completed by ABC staff," Waterbury said. "They''re aware that there are a number of communities looking at Sunday sales. They believe it''s important to look at the overall impact the decision would have on the community, including economic development opportunities, as well as concerns of local citizens. So the city of Starkville''s request has been neither approved nor denied. It has been taken under advisement. There is not an order. There is nothing official at this point. No decision has been made."
The Commission will reconvene in two weeks and may revisit the matter at that time.
Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins said Wednesday he wrote a letter to the State Tax Commission Aug. 20 in opposition to Sunday sales. He was one of three aldermen -- Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn Sr. were the others -- who voted against Sunday sales during the board''s Aug. 18 meeting.
Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas, a proponent of Sunday sales, could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening. But earlier in the day he said grocery stores and convenience stores will be able to sell beer and light wine on Sundays beginning later this month. Restaurants also will be able to sell beer and light wine by the glass on Sundays. Light wine contains a lesser percentage of alcohol than regular wine.
The city amended its alcohol ordinance on Aug. 18 to allow for Sunday alcohol sales, though the State Tax Commission has to approve the sale of liquor and regular wine on Sundays. Residents will be able to buy beer and light wine on Sundays beginning Sept. 22, though the first Sunday after that date is Sept. 27.
Jay Yates, owner of The Veranda and president of the Starkville Restaurant Association, would not comment on the Tax Commission''s actions Wednesday, saying he wants to wait until the state issues an official order.
columbus citizen commented at 9/3/2009 11:24:00 AM:
I hope ABC denies both Starkville and Columbus to sell alchohol on Sunday.
starkville citizen commented at 9/3/2009 11:52:00 AM:
Why columbus citizen, why deny it?
Jim commented at 9/3/2009 11:56:00 AM:
The cities have already voted on the issue. If there are enough citizens who are unhappy with Sunday sales, they need to elect officials who will repeal the law. Until then, the State should not get the final word on something that only effects the city, that already approved the law.
VegasDawg commented at 9/3/2009 12:56:00 PM:
The City voted to petition the State Tax Commission for approval- the City's vote means nothing was legally approved in regards to liquor. The law is that ABC/MTC has jurisdiction over this issue, so maybe that is the law that should be repealed?
Alderman Dumb Dumb shouldn't be giving comments without having his facts straight. No wonder he wasn't available for comment last evening- was probably still trying to remove that foot from his mouth from earlier in the day.
Herschel commented at 9/3/2009 8:19:00 PM:
This is pathetic. The State Tax Commision should honor the wishes of the local government. If people want to know why people leave Mississippi after college, this is a great example of the backward thinking that makes one glad to no longer live in Mississippi.
Barry commented at 9/6/2009 3:44:00 PM:
Herschel, I completely agree with your response. I moved away from Starkville 14 years ago because of the "backward thinking" in Mississippi. Unfortunately, I'm now back in Starkville to take care of my father. While I was away from Starkville, I lived in two different states that allowed alcohol sales on Sundays. Those cities were just as safe or safer than Starkville. Honestly, I believe the whole thing has to do with religion and not "safety". Anyway, I hope to see Sunday alcohol sales in Starkville soon. It's frustrating having to drive to the next county.
Rev. commented at 9/15/2009 11:31:00 PM:
It is definitely religious in nature but I am unsure as to what religion is being honored by a ban on Sunday sales. Even if the majority of MS residents are Christian there is still debate as to which day is actually holy. I keep hearing "We must uphold the sanctity of the Lord's day." Is that Saturday as Jewish doctrine teaches? Jesus was Jewish. Is that Sunday as the Protestants adopted? Or is it Monday, considering that resurrection three days after crucifixion on Friday does not equal Sunday? Even if you pick all three days, how does the ability to purchase beer affect anything? I can buy wine on Saturday, drink it Sunday and enjoy a similar drink to what Jesus himself made. The issue is convenience to consumers and increased revenue for business. Keep religion out of it, especially if you have no legitimate argument against it other than "this is just how it's always been." I'm a minister of many years now and I really see why we are the butt of everyone's jokes outside of this state. There is no point in claiming this will hurt anyone without a shred of intelligent information to back that statement up. "Just because" is not the way adults should handle decisions on law.
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