news 6 days ago

Residents to vote on legalization of liquor sales in Greenville

The Herald Banner, Greenville, Texas — Travis Hairgrove The Herald Banner, Greenville, Texas

Feb. 14-- Feb. 14--CORRECTION -- The story below has been corrected since its original publication. The petition to add the legalization of the sale of liquor for off-premises consumption to the ballot for the May 2 municipal elections received 2,724 signatures, 2,544 of which were certified by the Greenville city secretary.

In May, Greenville residents will be able to vote for or against the legal sale of liquor for off-premises consumption in their city.

On Jan. 3, a petition to place the proposition on the May ballot was delivered with more than 2,700 signatures to the city secretary's office.

The petition was started by Tim Reeves Consulting out of Dallas, representing the Greenville Taxpayers for Economic Development group.

After certifying 2,544 signatures (which is more than the necessary 35 percent of Greenville residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election), City Secretary Carole Kuykendall passed it along to City Attorney Daniel Ray to work out the exact ballot language.

At Tuesday's Greenville City Council meeting, council members voted to place the proposition on the May ballot. The wording will appear as follows: "For (or against) the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption only."

After the council approved the petition's request to place the sale of packaged liquor on the May ballot, Mayor David Dreiling clarified, "We're not voting yes or no on selling liquor for off-premises consumption, we're just putting it on the ballot."

Ray said if the proposal is approved by voters, all regulation over the sale of liquor in the city will be handled by TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission), with the exception of zoning, which will be under the city's authority.

In addition to the vote over the legalization of the sale of packaged liquor in Greenville, another proposition that will appear on the May 2 ballot is for a property tax freeze for those aged 65 and older.

The proposed tax exemption for residents aged 65 or older would not be a freeze on the property tax rate or the property's appraised value, but a freeze on the tax dollar amount. The exemption would also only apply to the resident's homestead, or the house in which they live, and not any rental or commercial properties they may own.

This means that -- if the freeze is approved by voters in May -- the actual dollar amount in city taxes that those who take the exemption would pay on their home would stay the same year after year, regardless of if the tax rate or the value of their home increases.

This has made the proposal attractive to many residents who are living on a fixed income such as Social Security benefits or pensions.

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