Northeast Tarrant

Bedford should allow liquor stores to ease property tax burden, some residents say

A citizens group says it’s time to bring liquor stores to Bedford so that the city can get more sales tax dollars.

Tom Burnett, a Bedford resident who is one of the organizers of this initiative, said the group raised $158,000, the amount needed to hire Texas Petition Strategies to circulate petitions.

Texas Petition Strategies was successful in getting a number of elections passed in North Texas. In May, Grand Prairie voters approved liquor stores, and Keller will have a referendum on the November ballot.

Registered voters must sign the petitions in order for the referendum to get on the ballot in May.

“I have a beer with Mexican food. It’s not about me rushing out to buy booze. It’s about the welfare of this city. That’s what I care about,” he said.

Bedford relies heavily on property tax dollars, and it is time to lessen the burden on homeowners, Burnett said.

Burnett said he researched nearby cities such as Colleyville and Southlake that lowered their property tax rates. He said those cities have new development.

“They have land, and they reduced their debt,” Burnett said. “Bedford is built out, and we don’t have new development.”

Recently, the Bedford City Council voted to increase the property tax rate in order to hire more police officers and fire fighters.

Although Bedford is near Colleyville, Grapevine, Euless and other cities that already have liquor stores, Burnett said two companies want to open in Bedford. He declined to name the retailers but said that one already submitted plans to the city, which include tearing down an existing building.

He said that estimates from Texas Petition Strategies indicate that having liquor stores will add 25-40 jobs and bring in around $300,000 in sales tax revenue.

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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.
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