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Town Council votes in special meeting to say “no” to proposed changes in alcohol sales

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By David Rogers. March 5, 2019. BLOWING ROCK, NC — CLICK HERE to view the resolution prepared by Town staff and adopted by Blowing Rock’s Board of Commissioners in opposing proposed North Carolina legislation may portend an end of government-controlled alcohol distribution sales, if passed.

At the very least, the proposed legislation seeks a merger of smaller ABC boards, which could cut deeply into the revenue streams of smaller municipalities.

The Town of Blowing Rock’s adopted resolution (CLICK HERE) is almost an exact copy of other resolutions passed in other areas of the state. Resort communities on the beach and in the mountains would be especially hard hit if squeezed out of the liquor sales-related revenue stream.

The only material difference between Blowing Rock’s resolution and those adopted by other resort or vacation communities is a report on the contributions from ABC boards to the local municipality. For Blowing Rock, one of the passages in the resolution reports that each year the local ABC distributes a minimum of $50,000 to the Town of Blowing Rock and over the previous 15 years the annual amounts, in aggregate, total approximately $6 million.

Who gets the alcohol-related sales revenue and how it is distributed are of course at the heart of the legislation.

Blowing Rock’s legislative body seeks to join forces with the Town of Boone, according to a public notice received on Tuesday afternoon from Blowing Rock Town Clerk Hilari Hubner. If Boone agrees, then the language of this resolution will be modified to reflect the alliance.

Proponents of the legislation claim that the state’s regulations governing the sale of alcohol are outdated and need to be modernized. Opponents of the legislation (supporters of the status quo) suggest that North Carolina’s current system achieves public health, safety, and revenue objectives far better than privatized systems in other states.


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