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July 1, 2014

County’s alcohol measure goes into effect

CLAREMORE —

Patrons wanting to purchase and consume alcohol at Rogers County restaurants may do so beginning this Sunday, following Monday’s near-immediate effective date as set by the Rogers County Commissioners.
In a 2-1 vote, with commissioner Mike Helm being the lone “no” vote, commissioners set a date for the  recently-approved “liquor-by-drink” proposition to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. today. 
The first opportunity for patrons to purchase and consume alcohol on-site on Sunday.
Rogers County Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody was present at Monday’s meeting of the Rogers County Commissioners, who confirmed the specifics of the June 24 proposition vote, including the date and nature of the election, the certification (by the Rogers County Election Board) of the results, that the proposition was passed by a majority of voters, and that the commissioners were satisfied with the statutory requirements of the election.
When commissioner Kirt Thacker inquired about any legal requirements concerning the selection of an effective date (of the proposition), Assistant District Attorney David Iski advised that such a determination was “up to the findings of the Board (of Rogers County Commissioners).”
“Well it passed, we might as well put it on so we can start collecting (sales tax revenue) as soon as possible,” Thacker said. 
“Okay, give me a date,” commissioner Dan DeLozier followed. “Is that a motion?”
“It will be, but I do have one question,” Thacker said. “Will the business have to do anything to prepare for collecting this tax?”
“You’re not doing anything (in setting the proposition’s effectiveness date) to authorize anyone to do anything other than setting an effective date,” Iski answered. “Businesses will still have to comply with any licensing and any other tax collection set-up — all that stuff — that’s all up to them.”
Thacker motioned for the proposition to go into effect just after midnight, 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, thus making on-site purchase and consumption of alcohol legal in Rogers County beginning Sunday.
Last Tuesday, voters  approved the proposition to legalize the Sunday and holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas) sale/consumption of liquor in a 8,359 to 6,215 vote (or 57.4 percent to 42.6 percent).
Proponents of the measure cited the loss of tax money in Rogers County due to prohibition of Sunday and holiday liquor sales.

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