Elected officials work for Orrville beer tax

Published 6:49 pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Elected officials are continuing to restore a beer tax for Orrville that the town has been legally denied since 1995.

State Rep. Darrio Melton, D-Selma, said he is trying to get a reintroduction of the legislation that would allow the town of Orrville to once again receive a portion of the beer tax collected from the sale of beer within its corporate limits added to the calendar next week. Orrville Mayor Louvenia Lumpkin has high hopes that the legislation will pass.

“I don’t see why it shouldn’t [pass], but I’m hoping that it will,” Lumpkin said. “We need that.”

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The town has been denied that revenue due to legislation act passed in 1995 that made it illegal for Orrville to collect a beer tax, a tax they had been collecting since 1994.

The 1994 legislation states that in Dallas County, the entire tax collected on beer sales inside the corporate limits of the town of Orrville shall be paid as follows: 72.23 percent to the town and 27.77 percent shall be paid to the Dallas County Commission. In the same act, beer sales within the city of Selma are given the same provisions.

Lumpkin said the town clerk brought to her attention in November 2012 that an audit showed Orrville would no longer receive those taxes. She was told the checks received from Dallas County since the 1995 amendment were unauthorized.

The 1995 act notes that Selma would continue to receive 72 percent of the proceeds from the beer tax and the commission would receive 27 percent, but provided no provisions for the town of Orrville.

Melton said he doesn’t foresee any issues with getting the bill to pass since the House of Representatives approved it last year and time was the only downfall.

In January, Lumpkin said not having the revenue they normally receive from the beer tax has affected the town greatly. She said the sales tax brought in $10,000 to $12,000 annually to the town.

“Last year, it actually passed the house, it just ran out of time in the Senate,” Melton said. “I’m very confident that it will pass the house again.”

Lumpkin said she anticipates State Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, will support it and help push the bill forward if the House of Representative approves it.