McMinnville officials may get a buzz from all the revenue generated by the sale of wine in grocery stores.
An ordinance is making its way to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen that will impose an 8 percent inspection fee on retail wine stores. The charge will be on the wholesale price of alcoholic beverages and be assessed to stores with a wine license.
Wine can be red or white, but it’s cut and dry for city officials, according to city attorney Tim Pirtle during Tuesday night’s Finance Committee meeting.
“You really don’t have to do anything for wine in grocery stores except pass this ordinance,” said Pirtle. “All this committee needs to do is to vote to recommend the ordinance to the full board.”
Alderman Ben Newman asked about an area in the ordinance where 5 percent is marked out and 8 percent written above it.
“It should have been 8 percent,” said city recorder Shirley Durham. “They had 5 percent so I marked it out and wrote 8 above it.”
Newman asked, “If we go out and inspect it, they have to pay us 8 percent of their inventory?”
“It’s a revenue generator,” said Pirtle.
Newman added, “Can we go up or down on that?”
“That’s the max,” said city administrator Bill Brock.
“Almost everybody we’ve contacted uses 8 percent,” said Alderman Everett Brock. “It’s a revenue generator.”
Currently, the city has a 300-foot distance restriction between churches, schools and establishments that sell beer. Newman asked if a distance restriction can be placed between churches, schools and establishments that sell wine.
“No,” said Alderman Brock.
State statute overrules local restrictions and wine is governed at the state level, says Pirtle.
Committee members Brock, Newman and Alderman Ryle Chastain unanimously approved the ordinance with the 8 percent inspection fee. It will be sent to the full board for its consideration. An ordinance takes two passing reads.
Timeline before a wine license will be available.
• Dec. 27, first reading
• Jan. 10, second reading
• Newspaper publication
• Application forms available