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Now time to invest in your hometown

While state leaders worry over revenue collections that are notmeeting expectations, Brookhavenites can take heart in that,relatively, we are in a little better shape. However, it is vitalthat this local trend continue.

Sales tax totals show the state lagging about 6.5 percent behindbudget expectations for fiscal year 2002. In Brookhaven, though,sales tax collections are running about 1 percent ahead of budgetexpectations for the first quarter of the city’s fiscal year.

“We’re holding our own, and it’s very reassuring,” said CityClerk Iris Rudman.

Rudman said the $967,821 that Brookhaven has received so farrepresents 25.98 percent of the budgeted $3.7 million expected fromsales tax. She said the city will meet budget expectations if itaverages $310,000 a month.

Sales tax receipts provide the fuel to run the engines of stateand municipal governments. Of every sales tax dollar collected,18.5 percent is returned to the municipality from which it came tohelp that local government.

In Brookhaven, sales tax collections account for approximately42 percent of the city’s $8.9 million general fund budget. Thatmoney from sales tax provides for services that local taxpayersotherwise would have to pick up in some other form of fee ortax.

While we are in a recession and people are watching theirspending closely, this is the time to invest in our own communityby using local businesses.

When we spend money in Jackson or some other city in the state,the money earned in Brookhaven goes to help that community.Therefore, all we are doing is investing in another community’sfuture and not our own.

During these tough economic times, it is important to helpourselves by shopping locally first. Doing so will make the localeconomy better, help friends and neighbors get back to work soonerand make the future look a little brighter.