City voters raised their glasses to liquor stores on Tuesday, giving their approval to a measure which will allow package liquor to be sold inside McMinnville city limits.
The referendum to allow liquor stores passed with 62% of people voting in favor of it, and 38% of people voting against it.
In addition, a separate measure to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores passed. In that referendum, 68% of people voted for wine sales, and 32% voted against it.
“I’m so happy to see that $3 million in lost tax revenue will be staying in our county,” said Christy Ross, who was holding a sign in support of liquor stores Tuesday on Main Street. “These are desperately needed tax dollars and we need to keep them here.”
The measure didn’t pass without steadfast opposition.
“I believe alcohol causes a lot of problems with families and it causes wrecks,” said Walter Bishop, who was waving a sign on Main Street to discourage liquor stores. “I really don’t see anything that’s good about alcohol. It’s kind of like smoking. It’s bad on your health. It’s a bad influence on children. I’ve never lived in a home with drinking and I don’t see the need.”
Package liquor passed after a six-year absence. The last time package liquor was on the ballot in McMinnville was in 2010.
Liquor by the drink was OK’d by city voters in 2002.