It will take over 21,000 signatures before McKinney voters can decide if they want to allow package liquor sales in the city, and projections indicate that goal will be met with roughly 1,000 to spare.
In November, a group of residents, businesses and community leaders announced the launch of a local petition campaign that, if enough people backed it, would trigger an election that would ask McKinney voters to decide if they wanted to allow for the sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption.
The election item, if passed, would expand current McKinney law, which currently allows for beer and wine sales in grocery or convenience stores as well as mixed beverage sales at restaurants, to include allowing fine wine and package liquor stores. In a previous interview, Lisa Hermes, president and CEO of the Mckinney Chamber of Commerce said McKinney stands to see an estimated $1.3 million in additional sales tax revenue if the measure passes.
The petition needs 21, 847 signatures in order to trigger the vote.
On Thursday, Hermes told the McKinney Courier-Gazette that projections indicate the group is on track to collect a raw total of over 36,000 signatures, with the expectation that after going through a verification process, over 23,000 will be considered valid. Petition signers must have been registered McKinney voters as of Nov. 17.
“We are planning to go to the city secretary’s office with those 23,000 signatures on Jan. 14 and delivering them then,” Hermes said.
That timing will prove key for the group一Jan. 14 is the last day the petition can be handed over in order to get the item on a May election ballot.
While the true deadline to turn the petition in is Jan. 18, turning in signatures after Jan. 14 would push the item to the November election ballot due to state requirements.
With the group collecting roughly 1,400-1,600 signatures per day, Hermes said there had been over 28,000 raw signatures collected as of Wednesday morning. Based on validity rates and estimations, She said that almost 17,000 of those are thought to be valid.
“We’ve really seen a really good response and a lot of interest and people wanting to sign the petition,” she said. “It’s about time that we keep our sales tax dollars local. We have people with money that’s going into other communities that should be staying here and helping our city be able to fund city services that are vital to our community.”
On Tuesday, McKinney City Secretary Empress Drane told McKinney City Council members that city staff would have roughly 30 days to verify the petition’s signatures.
“We have adequate time, we’re comfortable with the number of staff that we have available to do this and our expertise to do it, and ultimately it’s the most efficient use of our resources,” Drane said.