City of Graham Financial Director David Maddy knows that the sale of beer and wine at grocery stores in Graham would add revenue to the city, he just doesn’t know how much. 

“It’s not going to be a deal breaker on the city’s budget,” said Maddy. “I’m in the position where I look for revenue wherever I can get revenue because it takes the load off other things. If I got it out of sales taxes and I want to do a trade off, maybe I could do with less property taxes.” 

Maddy explained that the city already collects taxes on beer, wine and liquor sold at various restaurants in town. A $1,500 to $2,000 check comes to the city four to 12 times a year through those taxes. For Maddy, it’s an indication that general alcohol sales should yield at least 10 times that amount, meaning the city could gain anywhere from $60,000 to $240,000 in additional revenue. In the city’s last full fiscal year it collected a total of $2.6 million in sales tax revenue. 

Graham resident Mike Elmore led a political action committee that collected 1,260 signatures in a 19-day stretch. The signature campaign concluded Thursday morning. 

Should 1,111 of those signatures be validated as registered voters in Young County’s Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, an area that includes all of Graham, Grahamites would then have the option to vote in November to legalize the sale of beer and wine at grocery and convenience stores in Graham. 

According to a press release issued Thursday by Graham Wet—It’s Time, Elmore’s PAC, “Studies show we could be losing nearly $224,000 a year in local sales tax revenues.”

Read the full story in this weekend's Graham Leader.