Murray is mentioned when someone wants to legalize alcohol. I moved to Murray in 1991. Alcohol has not helped Murray, regardless of what some will tell you.
The city was growing before Murray’s alcohol vote. New stores, restaurants and hotels were locating in Murray.
Murray voted to go “moist” in 2000 under a law limiting alcohol sales to larger restaurants with no more than 30 percent of sales coming from alcohol. Although denied during the election, many of Murray’s “liquor-by-the-drink restaurants” have bars. Hoping to reduce unruly drinkers, DUIs and public intoxication complaints, City Council cut “Happy Hours” off at 6 p.m. in 2005. If Trigg County goes wet, it will have fewer limits on alcohol sales than Murray does.
Alcohol has not been the fountain of profits some predicted. Four alcohol-serving restaurants, including the first to legally sell alcohol, have closed. If profitable, why would they close?
Alcohol has not prevented factories from closing. Mattel shutdown in the months following Murray’s wet/dry vote. Jakel closed its Murray operations in 2007. Webasto will close in July. Briggs and Stratton recently announced more layoffs and pay cuts.
Alcohol sales haven’t cut taxes. Property tax rates have increased in the years since Murray went wet. State law limits Murray to taxing alcohol only enough to cover law enforcement and administrative costs related to alcohol sales.
Alcohol did not bring prosperity to Murray. It is unlikely to solve many problems in Trigg County either.