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Watch out sinners

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 Daddy Warbucks

Watch out sinners

Booze, smokes easy targets for tax hike

 

Whenever the 135 Arkansas lawmakers gather and say it is not about money, well, you know the old saw, it IS about money.

Arkansas lawmakers—better known as the General Assembly—have gathered to find more revenue for the state. Sin taxes like cigarettes and booze are their target this year and in a big way. Our popular governor has already said that he envisions a 56-cents per pack additional tax on cigarettes. And with the looks of things, an additional tax on booze, can’t be far behind.

In fact Sen. Henry Wilkins IV, D-Pine Bluff, filed SB90, which would levy a tax on alcohol and wine sold in Arkansas. So get ready for some sticker shock out of the brown paper bag Gentle Liquor Store shoppers. The measure would levy an excise tax of 5 percent “upon all gross receipts or proceeds derived from the sale of an alcoholic beverage by a licensed or unlicensed distributor, manufacturer, or wholesale dealer to a retailer.” So 5 percent at the wholesale level could and possibly would mean a 7-to-10 percent off-the-shelf increase to consumers.

Proceeds from the proposed cig tax, estimated at about $88 million the first year, would fund a statewide trauma system and other purposes. The proposed liquor tax would go to state programs created to combat drug abuse, prevention and treatment among other things. The money, however, would come out of your pocket, Mr. and Mrs. Consumer. No one likes “sin taxes,” but lawmakers seem to see these as palatable and easy for the public. That’s why “smokes” and “booze” are legislative relief for tough economic times.

 

BIG QUESTION: Neiman Marcus offered a life-size replica of one’s self built in Lego blocks this past Christmas. What was the price tag on this work of art? (Answer at the end).

 

THE DARK NIGHT

It was a dark, dark night on the downtown square a few weeks ago, not a streetlight was shining and with the OPO dark, it was a little eerie. Had the new administration failed to pay the electric bill? No. Apparently, city workers failed to turn the streetlights back on after they took down the Christmas lights.

 

SAD CLOSING, BUT…

The Ozark Mountain Smokehouse on Dickson closed, but Daddy W. hears that a new gourmet restaurant and a retail biz that would be a nice addition to the street are set to take the space.

 

LIQUOR PERMITS

Oh, yeah, there are still two liquor permits for Fayetteville that have not been applied for since 2006, does that surprise anyone? Well, not Daddy W. Applying for a permit is difficult and expensive. It is sort of like getting a loan (remember those) from a bank. If you can prove you really don’t need the money, they will loan it to you. The price tag on these permits usually fall at around $250,000 to $500,000 with all kinds of city permits and the like required. Not for the faint hearted with a light pocketbook.

 

MACADOODLES MAYBE

There’s a whispered rumor that the two liquor permits up for grabs in Fayetteville, may have interested the MacAdoodles of Missouri. But be warned, speculators, the MacAdoodle’s bunch won’t want a mom and pop, 2,500 square foot store, try more like 25,000 square feet and a b-i-g presence.

 

AND REMEMBER

Liquor stores in Fayetteville, by city ordinance, can’t open for business until 10 a.m. each day and no Sunday sales.

 

NEW PHONE BOOKS, UGH

The annual deluge of telephone books is raining down on Fayetteville. Ugh. Daddy W. thinks the city council should prohibit them in this “green city.” They’re tossed at curbside and it is such a waste. And who, pray tell, is collecting the old and unwanted books for recycling? Daddy W. wants to know.

 

CAR WARS

Watch it folks, even these big mega-dealerships may be in for some changes and that’s more than a cosmetic name change, Daddy W. hears.

 

TORN DOWN

Remember the building that last housed a Mexican restaurant at 1466 N. College Ave.? Well all that’s left of it is a pile of rubble. It is gone. It once housed an Italian eatery chain, too. What is coming to that spot? Daddy doesn’t know. Do you?

 

NEW TENANT

Looks like the old Staffmark Building, which once housed some Tyson offices, is now, at least the top floor, home to Kutak Rock, the law firm, that was once on Dickson. Let’s see who else rents out this space.

 

NEW HOTEL

The new Marriott Towneplace Suites an extended stay hotel is open. The new digs offer studios, one and two bedroom suites, full kitchens, 32″ LCD HDTVs, an outdoor pool, and an exercise room with iPod connections. It’s in Johnson just off I-540.

 

BIG ANSWER: A whopping $66,000 would have gotten you a Lego-look-a-like from Neiman Marcus. NM’s Christmas specials are not discounted for post holiday sales.

 

 

 

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