Shopping locally helps community, businesses

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 28, 2006

As the holiday shopping season swings into top gear, we want toecho Mayor Bob Massengill’s statements on the importance ofshopping locally.

Sales tax dollars make up almost 60 percent of the Brookhaven’sgeneral fund budget, and they are just as important in theoperations of surrounding cities and towns.

Sales tax is the “life blood” of a municipal budget. That lifeblood is able to flow strongly when customers support localmerchants in their areas.

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By shopping locally, citizens are directly able to help theirfriends and neighbors who operate businesses in their homecommunities.

Indirectly, a portion of the sales tax comes back to thecommunity in which it was generated. Those dollars go to help citygovernment provide police and fire protection, pave streets andaddress a variety of other needs.

Without those sales tax dollars, leaders would have to lookelsewhere for the funds to provide city services. Those other areascould be in the form of property taxes or fee increases.

Furthermore, when citizens go out of the area to shop, theirsales tax dollars go with them to help other city governments meetthe needs of citizens elsewhere.

As evidenced by some recent news events in the capital city,increased police protection could be one of those areas in need ofbeing addressed. Thanks to good local law enforcement and a smalltown atmosphere, safety is not high on the list of area shopperconcerns.

Traffic is another issue that comes to mind when shopping inJackson, Hattiesburg or Baton Rogue. Area shoppers do not needtelevised reports to tell them how bad the traffic is or whatroutes to avoid.

In total, the benefits of shopping in the area outweigh those ofshopping elsewhere. So, shop at home and help everyone have a happyholiday season and rest of the year.