Murray City Council passes first reading of alcohol ordinance

The Murray City Council voted 8-3 to pass a reading of a new alcohol ordinance Tuesday evening. The ordinance sets the regulatory tax rate of 8 percent on both restaurant and package sales.

At the city’s finance committee meetings, held previously to determine which percent the city council should set the regulatory tax, a 6 percent regulatory tax was forwarded to the council. Danny Hudspeth, chair of the committee, said at the finance meeting he would recommend an amendment at the city council meeting, to revise the ordinance to set the tax at 8 percent.

The motion brought to the council was for 6 percent but the council did accept. Then Hudspeth moved to amend the motion to 8 percent, his motion seconded by another council member. The council voted 6-5 for the amendment.

The members of the council had varying opinions on why it should or shouldn’t be set at 8 percent. City Administrator Matt Mattingly reminded the council that state law allows the revenue from alcohol sales to only be spent on the enforcement of alcohol laws.

The second reading of the ordinance will be at the Sept. 13 city council meeting. The council also approved the first readings of the ordinances to repeal the existing alcohol beverage control ordinance, which removes the alcohol-by-the-drink license category because it is covered by the new ordinance.

Staff Report.