By SOUTHERN STANDARD
Just how far will the state go in the name of revenue?
As Tennessee lawmakers are preparing for their annual pilgrimage to Nashville, talk is already beginning to surface about what’s become another annual rite of passage – the push to sell wine in grocery stores.
The argument for selling wine in supermarkets never changes. It all comes down to money, money and more money. It seems people can rationalize just about anything as long as there is potential revenue at stake.
It was nearly a decade ago, Tennessee lawmakers decided to give the OK to legalized gambling and the state lottery was created. Never mind the real winners were all the state lottery officials given jobs with salaries over $100,000. The lottery was the right thing to do because the money would benefit education.
Just this month we’ve seen voters in two states, Colorado and Washington, vote to legalize marijuana. While the framework is still being developed, marijuana is already being touted as a way to boost revenue in those states through heavy taxation.
Since states are traveling down this road, why not legalize prostitution too? Tax it and earmark the money for new schools and everyone will be happy.
It’s true revenue from wine sales could benefit Warren County if wine was sold locally in grocery stores. It’s also true more families could be afflicted with the ordeals of alcoholism if wine was sold here at home.
When questions like this arise, some people are too quick to push aside the alcohol-related problems and focus on the almighty dollar. The family torn apart by alcoholism is kept quiet, but the extra $1,200 in sales tax revenue is shouted from the rooftops.
Alcohol dependency is a serious problem in our society. Increasing its availability by selling wine at grocery stores is not the solution.
There’s a tremendous benefit to developing a town we’re proud to call home, tax revenue or not. This community seems to have done just fine through the years without selling wine at supermarkets.