Liquor sales on the ballot again in Anna

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ANNA, Tex. -- Only two years after voters allowed the sale of liquor, they will again decide if liquor will continue to be sold in that Collin County town. Some say the city can't afford to lose the tax revenue while others say they don't want that kind of business.

Rows of bottles fill Anna Fine Wines and Spirits. It’s one of the few stores in Collin County where customers can buy alcohol.

In 2005, voters decided to allow the sales, but recently a group of residents formed a petition calling for another election to halt off-premise liquor sales.

They say they do not want the sales for moral reasons and inherit problems that could come with alcohol in Anna, but others say stopping the sale would stunt growth.

"It’s sending a message out to other businesses that Anna doesn't want those types of businesses, they don't want to grow, and it's going to be a major impact to our economy," says councilman Keith Green.

City leaders say tax revenue from liquor sales pumps about $15,000 a month into the tax base to pay for services as Anna tries to keep up with its booming population.

In 2000, Anna’s population was around 1,200. Today that number is roughly 9,000.

"When your total budget is $4.8 million, and you're talking about losing 5 to 8 percent of the budget, you're either going to have to cut back spending of finding revenue some place else,"interim city manager Kenny Jenk says .

Those who don't want liquor sales in Anna say they fear empty buildings will be filled with businesses that aren't beneficial to the community.

"We’re asking restaurants to come, but they're saying they are going to wait until after this election before they make up their minds," Green says.

City officials say property taxes could increase if they lose the liquor revenue, but others say it's a small price to pay to keep their quality of life.

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