I took Economics 101 (at least twice) in college, and would like to talk about the economics of the wet vs. dry argument in Dallas. Everyone thinks it's about a change in packaged wine and beer sales and sales tax revenue, or that it's about how much restaurants (licensed as clubs) spend to keep up a club membership database. Chump change, guys, don't be like a pack of dogs distracted by Squirrels on the sidelines. Into this argument let me introduce Amynomics 101, surely no Nobel Prize winning thesis, but an aspect of the economic consequences of the current law that are as relevant, if not more so, than those being currently discussed.
First, before we get into a discussion of what is best for Dallas, let me state that I'm very much for a system that controls alcohol consumption - especially when it comes to 1) minors and 2) over-imbibing and driving. I agree with a system that works towards controlling both, while allowing those who don't break the rules the freedom to enjoy something that is completely legal. I'm an accountant who loves to "follow the money", with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management from UT-D. I am no economist, but for 20 years I've been working in the industry, trying to figure out the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, only to repeatedly find that just when you think you know it, you don't.
It seems a break-even economic proposal unless you consider the cost to Dallasites who currently have to travel the extra distance to purchase (what in most towns is available on their neighborhood corner) beer and wine. But Amynomics deals with the larger financial issues and how these ancient restrictions limit Dallas' economy, taxes, club licensees and their guests.
Because of the way Texas' over 70 year old law was written, restaurants licensed as clubs in dry areas (Squirrel - it's dry, but it's not really dry!) must purchase their alcohol they sell through a 4th tier retail package store, paying as much as 20%-30% more for their inventory as a restaurant located in a wet area who can buy directly from a wholesale seller. Highest in markup is wines, and a restaurant's alcohol sales are typically around 50-60% wine sales.
So based on the June 2010 report issued by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (which was mostly payments for the month of May), I added up all the club licensees Mixed Beverage Gross Receipts payments and came up with the following numbers:
|3 sample pages of June's TABC report, |
yellow highlights are Dallas club licensees.
Addison has zero club licensees.