News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2005


Sunday liquor sales keep dollars at home

Florence voters' approval Tuesday of Sunday alcohol sales leaves Decatur as a desert in the middle of an oasis.

Recent similar changes in the law in Madison and Huntsville mean that hotels, restaurants and grocery stores in communities all around Decatur may legally sell beer, wine and liquor on Sundays.

That gives those businesses a huge edge in attracting customers; not just tourists but also Decatur residents who would like to have a glass of wine with Sunday dinner.

Decatur restaurants simply can't compete on Sundays when their counterparts in surrounding communities have more to offer. And people who open new restaurants certainly have to think twice before opening here when they can do more business next door. There is a reason the committee backing the Florence effort called itself Vote Yes for Jobs.

Decatur would be better off with those jobs.

And while those businesses in Florence, Madison and Huntsville find themselves catering to Decatur residents, the cities themselves are collecting tax dollars.

Decatur would be better off with those tax funds.

If Decatur wants to keep up economically and compete for dollars from tourists as well as from families out for Sunday brunch, the city must adopt a similar measure even if enabling legislation fails to pass in the Legislature.

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