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Montgomery County residents looking to get their hands on the hard stuff no longer would have to head for the county line on Sundays under a proposal from one County Councilmember.

Councilman Mike Knapp, D-Germantown, said the county can make an additional $1.5 million to $2 million a year by opening its liquor stores on Sundays. That is extra money the cash-strapped county, which has a budget hole of nearly $1 billion, can’t afford to overlook, Knapp said.

“That’s not taxing anybody … it’s just providing access to a product people already want to purchase on Sundays as opposed to not having it available on Sundays,” Knapp said. “That seems to be pretty much a no-brainer.”

Proponents said the money raised may be small compared with the county’s budget hole, but it’s an easy way to raise revenue that shouldn’t be overlooked — especially in light of County Executive Ike Leggett’s proposal to double the county’s energy tax to raise $100 million.

“Every little bit helps,” said Council President Nancy Floreen, D-At Large.

Alcohol sales are tightly controlled in the county. Spirits such as tequila, whiskey and vodka can be bought only at county-owned liquor stores. The county also acts as a wholesaler and distributor to restaurants and private stores that sell beer and wine. The Department of Liquor Control has made more than $200 million for the county in the last 10 years.

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