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LOCAL ELECTION FOR BEER, WINE & SPIRITS REFERENDUM

MUNICIPAL PETITION(S) FOR LIQUOR, WINE, BEER REFERENDUM

Question & Answer Information sheet

Does Signing a Petition mean I am voting “For” or “Against” alcohol products?

NO, it does not. Signing a Petition is not the same as a Vote For or Against adult beverages (wine, spirits, beer). Signing a Municipal Petition for Alcoholic Liquors Referendum as a registered voter in the City of Amory, Mississippi simply calls for an election on the question of whether or not the sale and possession of alcoholic beverages be permitted in Amory, Mississippi.  


Can I sign the petition(s) if I am not a registered voter in Amory, Mississippi?

Only the signatures of verified, registered Amory, Mississippi voters will be counted.  


How many petitions are there here?

TWO. There are TWO petitions. Each petition requires 20% of registered voter signatures (approximately 1000) for a referendum (an election to be held on the issue). A registered voter can choose to sign One, or Both, or None.    


CLI CK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF OF BEER & LIGHT WINE PETITION 


CLI CK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF OF WINE & SPIRITS PETITION 


FAQ Alcohol Products (partial rendering) from Department of Revenue State of MS For full rendering go to: http://www.dor.ms.gov/Pages/ABC-QA.aspx#47  


What’s the tax rate on alcohol products?

Beer is subject to an excise tax of 42.68 cents per gallon; sparkling wine and champagne are $1.00 per gallon; other wines are 35 cents per gallon; and distilled spirits are $2.50 per gallon. Additionally, all alcoholic beverage products are subject to an additional 27 ½% markup on the wholesale purchase of alcoholic beverages. Beer and alcoholic beverages are subject to sales tax.​  


What’s the difference between beer and alcoholic beverages?

Although beer contains alcohol, it is not considered an “alcoholic beverage” in Mississippi’s local option laws and is regulated differently from distilled spirits and wine.  


In Mississippi, beer is a malt-based beverage that has no more than 8% alcohol by weight. Beer that has alcohol content greater than 8% by weight is not legal in Mississippi. Products that are wine-based and the alcohol content is less than 5% by weight are regulated like beer. These are called light wine products and are seen in the market typically as wine coolers. Beer and light wine cannot be sold in package stores. Likewise, alcoholic beverages cannot be sold in convenience or grocery stores.  


An alcoholic beverage is either a distilled spirit or a wine product that contains more than 5% alcohol by weight. Products that are spirit-based (liquor) and that are less than 5% by weight are not legal in Mississippi. Alcoholic beverages are most often identified as items you may purchase in package stores. ​  


What is the legal drinking age in Mississippi?

The legal drinking age for beer and/or alcohol is 21 years of age. However, a person who is 18-21 years of age, in the presence of his parent or legal guardian, may consume beer with the consent of the parent or legal guardian. Please note that this exception is for beer only and specifically does not include hard liquor or wine products that contain more than 5% alcohol by weight. 


Further, a person who is at least 18 years of age and who is serving in the U.S. military may possess and consume beer on military property where or when the consumption of beer is allowed.​  


If you are under the age of 21 and are caught with beer or alcoholic beverages, does it go on your record?

Yes, if you are convicted the violation remains on your record. A minor in possession can be fined up to $500.00, 30 days community service, and/or a 90 days suspension of his/her drivers license. ​  


What are the legal hours of sale for beer?

​Beer may be sold for off-premises consumption 24/7; however, the hours for sale for consumption off-premises may be restricted by local ordinance. Sales on Sunday may also be restricted by local ordinance.  


State law establishes the hours for on-premises sales of beer from 7:00 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week. Municipal or county governments may, by ordinance, further restrict but not extend those hours.  


If the hours for selling alcoholic beverages have been extended by the Department of Revenue, then the hours for beer sales is likewise extended to the same hours of sale as alcoholic beverages for that community or resort area.​  


What are the legal hours of sale for alcoholic beverages?

Package stores with ABC permits may only open for business from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Package stores are not allowed Sunday sales and cannot open on Christmas Day.  


ABC on-premises permittees may make sales of alcoholic beverages at the permitted location between 10:00 a.m. and midnight, Monday through Saturday. Sales after midnight and Sunday sales by on-premises permittees may only occur if the hours for sale have been extended by the Department of Revenue.  


ABC on-premises permittees in areas that have been granted resort status by the Department of Revenue are exempt from the above hours-of-operation restrictions. Package stores in resort areas are not exempt from the hours of operation above. ​  


What is the distance from a school or church where alcoholic beverages can be sold?

Alcoholic beverages cannot be offered for sale within 400 feet of a school, church, kindergarten, children’s day care or a funeral home. The minimum distance is measured from the nearest point to the nearest point of the permittee’s establishment and the church, school building, etc.  


However, if the area is zoned commercial or industrial, the minimum distance is 100 feet from the church, school etc. If the church, school, kindergarten, or funeral home is in an area that is zoned residential and the permittee is in an area zoned commercial, then the distance is 400 feet.  


A church or funeral home can waive the distance requirements; however, a school, kindergarten or day care cannot waive the distance requirement. The waiver must be in writing from the owner, governing body or appropriate officer of the church or funeral home. ​  


What is the distance from a school or church where beer can be sold?

A municipality or county may, by ordinance, define zones or territories where beer may be sold. You will need to check with your local authorities for that information.​  


How does a dry county become a wet county for alcoholic beverages?

The law provides for local elections to determine whether or not alcoholic beverages will be sold. For alcoholic beverages, a county is dry until an election is made to come out from under prohibition. Upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 20% or 1,500, whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the county, the board of supervisors must call an election for or against the legal sale of alcoholic beverages.  


A county may also have an election to vote to discontinue the sale of alcoholic beverages. Upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 20% or 1,500, whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the county, the board of supervisors must call an election as outlined above. An election for or against the sale of alcoholic beverages may not be made in any county more than once every two years.  


*Unless provided specific authority by law, a municipality may not hold an independent election to come out from under prohibition.​  


*The municipality of Amory, Mississippi has been provided specific authority by law to hold an independent election to come out from under prohibition - MS Code 67-3-9 (2013)  


CLI CK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF OF BEER & LIGHT WINE PETITION 


CLI CK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF OF WINE & SPIRITS PETITION