The Budget Crunch [updated]

Speaker Presumptive David Ralston has gone on record saying taxes will not go up to solve the budget cruch the state is facing.

Today comes this news.

Gwinnett County magistrate judge has issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting officials in Snellville from issuing licenses for Sunday alcohol sales.

The Gwinnett County Commission Snellville City Council authorized Sunday “by the drink” sales in restaurants, but some citizens say they did it improperly.

These things are related. If we are going to make up lost dollars, though not a panacea, why not expand the tax base instead of increasing taxes. Allowing Sunday sales referenda in counties to permit the sales of alcohol at grocery stories and liquor stories on Sundays would increase revenue without raising the tax rate.

Certainly it won’t make up a huge deficit. But it is one way to help close the gap.

UPDATE: Fixed to reflect it was Snellville. Second, a Superior Court Judge emails to ask how a magistrate judge has the power to issue a TRO? Answer: they don’t. So does anybody know what gives?


  1. Hate to nitpick, but it wasn’t the County Commission. LBTD on Sunday is currently permitted in unincorporated Gwinnett. “The order issued by Judge Mark A. Lewis comes two weeks after CITY leaders allowed Sunday liquor-by-the-drink sales in an effort to help struggling restaurants.”

    Sunday sales by package is a different thing, and I believe some study showed about an extra $65 million in sales tax could be generated if Georgia permitted them. Local referenda should be the way to go on that issue, I believe.

    • trainsplz says:

      The idea that once a week prohibition is preventing “broken families” and “wasted lives” is just plain silly. Wasn’t true when prohibition was all week, isn’t true now. Traffic deaths, I’d say give me some data, but I’d imagine that drinking at home is a lot safer than drinking at the bar and driving home, in that regard.

      • Exactly!

        Prohibition actually results in more harm than good. Example; 1920 prohibition and the current “war on drugs”, both, complete failures. But somehow, gives people like Harry, a warm fuzzy feel good without the intended results.

        You can’t legislate away stupid or irresponsible behavior… but you can legislate to make things worse.

    • Jeff Scott says:

      Oh, give me a break. If that’s your logic, go join the abolitionist movement. Selling alcohol on Sundays won’t change anything except enhancing freedom and allowing consenting adults to engage in business transactions that are perfectly legal.

    • Andre says:

      All things in moderation, Harry. All things in moderation.

      Just like drinking too much alcohol can kill an individual, so can drinking too much water; or eating too many sugars or starches.

      Barry White put it best when he said, “Too much of anything is not good for you, baby.”

      For the government to step in and dictate when or where an individual can purchase certain items simply because studies show too much of that one item will be detrimental to an individual’s health is just wrong.

      Policies like that don’t promote freedom, liberty or personal responsibility. It sends the signal that government knows best. And I’ve personally experienced enough bureaucracy to understand that government doesn’t know diddly-squat.

    • Three Jack says:

      “More traffic deaths? More broken families? More wasted lives?”

      are you predicting the effects of sunday sales or reporting a normal month in the state legislature?

    • btpull says:

      Could prevent a few traffic accidents/death as half-drunk people won’t have to rush to the liquor store on Saturday night to get booze for Sunday’s big game.

    • Captain_Phatbeard says:

      Gwinnett County doesn’t have enough Superior Court judges (the only ones who can grant TROs) to go around, so they often designate magistrate judges to essentially become “acting” Superior Court judges. Mark Lewis has been designated as such before and I assume that is what happened in this case.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    For FY2007, the alcoholic beverages tax generated revenue of $181,560,133.

    If Sunday sales increased revenues by 14%, you happy drunks will give the State another $25 million.

    Hell of a way to fund the government. Great freaken idea. I’ll drink to that.

    Rofl. Wish I could solve all my budget woes with a few more drinks.

    ($65 million in sales taxes … huh?)

  3. ieee says:

    The Criminal Regime of Snellville passed a “Sex Offender” Banishment ordinance in 2006 (it overrode the Criminal State of Georgia’s Banishment distance from 1,000 feet to 2,500 feet). Because of Snellville’s criminal, anti-reality, anti-American, enemy-neighbor, NIBMY actions, I haven’t spent a dime in their city since then. I don’t care if they sell liquor on Sunday or not, they won’t be selling anything to me. The morons probably think that has made them safer.

    Back in 2006, I cancelled plans for two developments projects that were to be within the city limits and one that was near there. I had options so I simply chose to go elsewhere.

    Snellville City Councilman Bruce Garraway was the criminal who dreamed up the Banishment ordinance and got it inflicted upon Snellville. When he ran for Mayor of Snellville in their last election, I played a significant role to get him defeated. I did it all behind the scenes, without a single mention of the laws, with not a single person’s knowledge that I was Registered or that my motivation was Garraway’s criminal “Sex Offender” laws.

    That is how I will continue to attack people who support these laws. I will align with their enemies and hurt them any way that I can. They constantly attack my spouse and children so I do not have to limit my attacks to politics. Anything that is legal is fair game. There is rarely a week that goes by without some action taken. That is the real impact of Georgia’s “Sex Offender” laws. The laws protect no one and I will continue to do everything that I can that I believe people who support these laws would like for me not to do. Of course that includes being around random children very often (which in reality, unlike how the morons who blindly support these laws like to lie, doesn’t matter at all). That is what the laws deserve.

    Happy Holidays to everyone.

        • ieee says:

          Yeah, I love that character. He’s hilarious.

          But the reality is – from what I did to get Registered, to the punishment for it, to the harassment and punishments that the Criminal State of Georgia has added year after year (along with the feds and thousands of other governments), to my growing response to it – it’s just a very, very long line of stupid. In reality, it’s ugly, hateful, and there isn’t the slightest bit of it that is funny.

          Georgia’s Sex Offender laws have led to children being murdered (exactly as experts warned Georgia’s legislators would occur). They’ve been negligibly useful and have caused a huge amount of harm to Georgia’s citizens. I only see that increasing. There is nothing funny about it.

  4. legaldriver says:

    Georgia’s forecast is for a $1 BILLION shortfall in its upcoming annual budget. Presumptive Speaker David Ralston says taxes won’t go up to solve this crunch; obviously he intends to make-up a $1 BILLION budget shortfall primarily by reducing expenses and/or increasing revenues. Great news but approving Sunday liquor sales in one Georgia city won’t cut it! Experienced budgeteers know that when you’re looking for a BILLION BUCKS, you HAVE to look at a SINGLE ACTIVITY THAT TAKES-UP OVER 1/2 OF GEORGIA’S ANNUAL BUDGETS.

    That ‘activity’ is PUBLIC EDUCATION! And it’s way past time that elected local/state politicians started to take a long, hard look at what Georgia students/taxpayers get in return for a generous level of government mandated funding.

    A hard look doesn’t mean just accepting wishy-washy fairy tales or untruths as reason to continue or increase the present level of funding. An example of the Mother-of-all-fairy tales was told by a spokeswoman for the largest public school system in Georgia (the Gwinnett County Public School System) regarding one of the worst commercial/residential building periods the County has encountered since the Great Depression, namely: “[t]he system will also see more principal posts open due to a BUILDING BOOM that CONTINUES TO ADD MORE THAN A HALF-DOZEN SCHOOLS EACH YEAR.” (emphasis added) And this bald-faced quote came on the heels of GCPS again recording still FEWER students than in previous years or than it forecasted to justify its current SPLOST funded school building program!

    • ByteMe says:

      The vast majority of DoE appropriations are for money transfers to poor counties so that students there can get an adequate education. If you cut off that money, the number of freshmen will decrease at UGA in future years.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        That would be great if they were getting an adequate education. For the most part they are not.

        The family has to provide the basis for education. Without family support teachers don’t have much of a chance at providing an adequate education.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    Education spending needs a look see. But half of the money, more than half of the money comes from outside the state.

    No personal attack but most of the posters and 99% of legislature don’t know the total spending by the State or the source of funds.

    In 2008 or 2009, the General Fund provided ONLY 47% of spent funds.

    Ask one of your GOP heroes where they get the other 53% ….

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