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Placing referendums for liquor by the drink and a sales tax increase on upcoming election ballots was discussed at last week’s meeting of the Giles County Commission’s Legislative Committee.

The committee ultimately voted to recommend that the full commission put a sales tax increase on the 2022 ballot. More information is being sought through the county attorney before moving forward with a liquor by the drink referendum.

Sales Tax

In August 2020, county voters rejected by a margin of more than two-to-one a sales tax increase of 25 cents per $100.

That same increase will be placed on the 2022 general election ballot if the full county commission approves the committee’s recommendation.

Commissioner Gayle Jones said unless a lot of information is shared with the voters, she doesn’t think a sales tax will pass.

Legislative Committee Chairman Stoney Jackson noted that Giles County schools would be the beneficiary of most of the money generated by the additional sales tax, which he also pointed out is already being paid by anyone who makes purchases inside the Pulaski city limits.

The committee voted unanimously to recommend the full county commission put the sales tax referendum on the ballot in 2022.

Liquor By The Drink

No vote was taken on the issue of placing a countywide liquor by the drink referendum on an upcoming ballot.

Commissioner Brad Butler brought the issue to the committee, noting that right now only the cities of Pulaski and Ardmore have legalized liquor by the drink.

According to TN.gov, a liquor-by-the-drink license allows a restaurant to sell liquor, wine and high-gravity beer at a restaurant located in a city or county which has authorized the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premise.

Butler said there are several county restaurants that are not located in the city limits of Pulaski or Ardmore that might benefit from selling wine, beer or liquor.

Calling it a win-win for everyone, Butler added that if the people of Giles County approve countywide liquor by the drink it could entice bigger restaurants as well as be a source of revenue for county government.

County Executive Melissa Greene said County Attorney Lucy Henson is researching liquor by the drink in state law and with the County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), offering more information for anyone with questions. Greene said another meeting could be called when more information is available.

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