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Archive for Sunday, October 14, 2007

K-State has evidence to make claim as drinking capital

October 14, 2007

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Lawrence's claim to the top spot on the drinking capitals of Kansas isn't an undisputed one.

Manhattan may have a case to make, too. That's because a second set of liquor tax numbers from the state show the home of Kansas State University leading the way in per capita drink sales.

An analysis of drink tax collections shows that Riley County has alcoholic drink sales in bars and restaurants of $231 per person. That's above Douglas County's total of $218, which was the second highest in the state.

The difference between the drink tax numbers and the liquor enforcement tax numbers - which Douglas County was tops in - is that the drink tax numbers only account for sales of individual drinks at bars and restaurants. The liquor enforcement tax includes sales at retail liquor stores, and the wholesale liquor purchases by bars and restaurants.

On the drink tax numbers, Johnson County was third at $192 per person. Ellis County was fourth at $191, and Sedgwick County was fifth at $155. The statewide average was $121 per person.

One other point of dispute is that the state doesn't release tax collection data for every county in the state. If a county doesn't have five or more retail liquor locations, the state will not release the tax collection totals for fear that it could allow people to determine the sales totals of an individual business.

For the liquor enforcement tax the state released data for only 36 of the state's 105 counties. But those 36 counties accounted for more than 90 percent of the state's overall liquor sales.

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