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The 43% Solution: Buy your beer here

Did you ever think buying beer could lower your property taxes? I’ve got good news — it can! Here’s how.

For argument’s sake, let’s say that a local government needs $10,000 a day to operate. Simplify it further and say that $5,000 of this $10,000 a day comes from property tax revenue and the other $5,000 comes from sales tax revenue.

Every time money is spent outside of this local community, dollars are lost from the sales tax side and have to be made up on the property tax side.

There’s your connection between buying beer here and lowering your property taxes (I had to get your attention somehow). There are obviously more moving parts to this, but humor me ...

I recently read that at least 43 percent of money spent locally stays within that community through local tax collection and recirculation of funds. That’s a lot of money either kept or lost.

It inspired me. I wanted to see how I could keep more of my purchases local. My first test found me driving home from Birmingham on a half tank of gas. I was on “E” by the time I hit Exit 61, but I was on a mission and made it back into the bubble on fumes. I felt like I had won a contest.

My second test: pick up various sundries on my way home from work. The store that my commute normally takes me by was not in PTC, though. Lo and behold, I was able to find a perfectly good store in PTC with the same items and better customer service. All I had to do was make a conscious effort to see if I had a local alternative, and I did.

I know there is life outside of PTC, and you will eventually need to venture out. If your purchase cannot be made in PTC, and your choice is now between Fayetteville and Newnan, go to Fayetteville. The same concept applies on a county level. This leads to the third test, which was my wife’s test.

Now, let me tell you about my wife. She is the shopper/spender in our family and is in my opinion an expert on all matters relating to shopping and spending money. So, when she needed something at Belk (locations in Fayetteville and Newnan), her resolve was tested.

She prefers the shopping experience in Newnan, but she made the decision to change her routine and go to Fayetteville instead — all because she understands how her shopping habits outside of PTC affect our property tax here at home.

So I brought all this up at a recent Development Authority of Peachtree City meeting and asked what we can do to get more people to consider where they shop and where they leave their 43 percent.

The collaborative effort resulted in “The 43% Solution.” The 43% Solution is the name of a local education effort we came up with to reinforce the concept of trying to keep your purchases local when possible.

The idea is to provide small window stickers to local businesses that say “The 43% Solution” based on the age-old advertising concept of repetition. The more we see it, the more it will sink in.

When you see The 43% Solution, think about the fact that for every dollar you spend in that store, at least 43 cents will stay in our community.

When you see The 43% Solution, think about the fact that that local business is a positive variable in keeping your property taxes low.

Most importantly, when you see The 43% Solution, think about the fact that you are a positive variable in keeping your property taxes low. Happy Shopping!

David H. Conner

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Connor, a volunteer member of the Development Authority of Peachtree City, works for Timber Products Inspection, Inc.]



It does not take a lot of smarts to realize that when the sales tax is 7 percent in Coweta County and 6 percent in Fayette County, folks are better off buying whatever they buy in Fayette.

One more thing: where do you buy your car(s)? Lucky for you that the law provides you pay the sales tax rate of the county where the vehicle is registered, with the local sales tax going to that county. That counts much more than your six-pack (a spit in the ocean of sales tax). Not too many car dealers in Fayette County, I'm afraid...

By the way, how much beer do you really drink? How much had you had when you wrote your letter to the editor?

NUK_1's picture

A one cent sales tax difference could be meaningless depending on how far you have to drive to save that 1% and also the cost of the item. If you live near Coweta and the same item is at both Sam's Club and the Pavillion at the same price of a couple of hundred dollars, why would you drive all the way to Fayetteville and deal with that BS when it's much closer to go to Sam's?

American love convenience and that's why the Wal-Mart and Home Depot in PTC that the PTC crazies said no one would shop at(does this sound very familiar right now in 2010 too?) are doing well and why Sam's Club and a nice new movie theater are going in right up against the county line. Of course, you Fayette Only types can still go to Tinsletown to see a movie while the rest of us happily drive the shorter distance across the county line to newer and better.

PTC Observer's picture

Excellent points, too bad our city leadership doesn't understand this concept. We shortly will be going across Line Creek to do our shopping at the PTC Sam's Club, possibly Kohls, theaters, etc.

Vision when we need it is sorely lacking in our city leadership.

Beer is pretty cheap at Sam's club.

How quaint, Development Authority dude! Perhaps you haven't heard....we are in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Times are hard, lots of folks can't find a job and are looking to make every dollar stretch. And if that means you can find something on sale or cheaper in Coweta County, most folks are going to make the 15 minute ride over there to purchase it. The fact is, WalMart, Sam's Club, Target and the other evil big bad box stores are going to have the best prices. Too bad Donnie Darko, Doug Starkdumb and Eric The Idiot don't realize this with their constant "just say no to big box" chant. Just think of what 43% of the money that will be spent at the Peachtree City Sam's Club over in Coweta County by PTC citizens would amount to. How many thousands of dollars in sales tax revenue would the Council Clowns have at their disposal come budget time? Oh wait...I forgot...Donnie said PTC folks wouldn't shop at Sam's Club. My bad...never mind!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

When we turn our elite, enviornmental, snobbish noses up at the very mention of a Goodwill store or an Aldi store or a Kohl's or the like, we are pretty much guaranteeing that they will still be built elsewhere and their very absence in PTC means that PTC people will drive to them to shop there instead of in the higher priced specialty stores in town. This is even more true during tough economic times, but it is always a truism.

Can you imagine the NIMBY uprising if anyone proposed a Sam's Club here?

On the other hand, let's look at how many sales tax dollars they produce each year for Coweta County.

Not saying we should approve everything just for the tax dollars, but I am saying it is wrong to turn everything down without even considering tax dollars. This is why we need real serious businesslike leadership like we had under the real Mayor Brown and Lenox, but none since then.

Live free or die!

If the city removed one or two lights on HWY 54 west it would allow us to do everyday shopping at a Kohl's or the like on Fisher Road a little quicker. I only need a few soaps or cute lotions once and a while at the Avenue but a Kohl's in town would have been real nice. Hopefully someday (I realize a long way off, if ever) the large proposed retail site down by Starrs Mill gets some real everyday we can keep more of our income and sales taxes in the county. How about a Target on the southside???..the Kmart at Braelinn just doesn't cut it.

NUK_1's picture

Driving around on "E" for miles and miles on the highway is just stupid. Some win right there for you. If this is what passes for logical reasoning on DAPC these days, glad you got de-funded.

Maybe I'll see you on the side of 74 walking to get some gas when I am going to Sam's or the new movie theater. Don't worry...they are going to call their locations "PTC"(what irony!) so that's local enough for me! I'll be thinking of your poor wife at the Pavillion as I am either shopping near Ashley Park in Newnan or online over the Internet.

Instead of trite commentary and dumb sloganeering, try convincing people like Haddix, Sturbaum, Steve Brown and some of the other local anti-everything crowd that maybe there's a lot better way of governance than sticking your head in the sand and pretending that it's 25 years ago and that nothing will ever change in the future either.

Well said, NUK! Anybody who would risk running out of gas just to purchase his gas in Fayette County is stupid. And to risk his wife's life at The Pavillion?? Jeez Louise!! I hope the Fayette Chamber of Commerce appreciates his dedication to the economy of Fayette County.

I remember much hoopla and self backslapping from Doug Starkdumb about getting some kind of tax credits for the Industrial Park. Lots of talk from Donnie Darko, Starkdumb and DAPC about how it was going to bring in jobs and revitalize the Industrial Park. A new day dawns in PTC!! Heck, if I remember correctly, the DAPC head dude even gave Starkdumb a plaque praising Starkdumb for his work. So my question to DAPC Dude is how many companies have moved into the Industrial Park as a result of the tax credits? How many new jobs have been created as a result of the tax credit? And I don't need Darko coming on here with his stock line..."We cant discuss any potential relocations due to confidentiality issues." What I want to know is how many new companies and jobs are there now? What's that? None? What I thought.

Interview with Chris Clark, President and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce (and a Peachtree City resident too) in today's AJC about attracting jobs. This Q/A stood out:

Q. How have incentive packages changed in this economic downturn?

A. First of all, tax credits, which are a major part of states's incentives program, are not as valuable anymore just because businesses don't have the same tax liabilities as they had a few years ago.

Perhaps this explains why Starkdumb's tax credits haven't produced any new business or jobs. It would seem that if Donnie and Starkdumb are really serious about economic development/business relocations/job development it would behoove them to take a more holistic approach rather than just think tax credits is the be all/end all answer.

Shame too that we have the GA Chamber of Commerce President/CEO right here in our backyard and we are apparently not even taking advantage of such a valuable resource. But, then again, maybe it is not so surprising. After all, these two seem to think they know it all and God forbid someone offer a different opinion. Such small headed men....

Mike King's picture

David, please get your head out of the sand or at least stop signing your name to something that Don Haddix penned.

Happy Thanksgiving

Say what you want about Steve Brown but you can't say he didn't clean up that trash pile called DAPC. This current bunch at the DAPC doesn't need funding either.

Instead of just being called the PTC Sams Club etc.

That's the sad part.

We had our head in the sand.

Exactly where would you have placed it? Land area size, Coweta is probably twice Fayette. It has more than 20 miles of interstate frontage. Maybe if TDK ext. had been built Braelin could have been redeveloped into something bigger.

Where? That's a good question. Coweta does have an advantage over Fayette with it being located on I-85. However, given where the PTC Sam's Club being built in Coweta, that apparently was not a consideration. Given the number of jobs and tax benefits such a business establishment would provide, that's why we need a mayor and council who are willing to at least consider the proposal and look for a solution. Not city leaders sitting there chanting "no big box, no big box, no big box". Instead we have absolutely the most inept and amateurish group of buffoons in this great city's history. Doug Starkdumb's highly touted tax credits for the Industrial Park have not produced a single new company or job that I'm aware of. And Donnie Darko touts his economic development expertise but I have not seen any evidence he knows a damn thing about economic development. If I remember reading somewhere on here, he is the City Council liasion to DAPC. If so, his influence shows with Conner's simplistic and silly letter. If that letter was truly Conner's, then perhaps DAPC should be defunded if that's the best idea they can come up with. Surely, there are folks here in PTC with honest to God economic development background that would be willing to serve on this authority.

that I can think off right off the top of my head. Would it have worked on the property that is right out in front of Planterra? As stated below, it is obvious that Interstate Frontage had ZERO to do with the location. PTC appeared to be the draw, otherwise they would have built it in the Ashley Park area.

The movie theater would have/should have been even easier to place in the City.

What's done is done.

All that said, Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Move to Gwinnett County. They have a Sam's Club every 10 miles.

Peachtree City used to be special because it was different. The Logsdon era of packing the city with big box stores made us just like everyone else.

NUK_1's picture

Big boxes like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target....hmm, not while Logsdon was Mayor. So, what are you talking about?

Logsdon, Boone and Plunkett shoehorned a Kohls at West Highway 54 and they got another whopper approved down on South Highway 74.

The mayor said he didn't have a problem with big boxes and thought they were good for the taxes.

NUK_1's picture

The Kohl's deal is DOA which is why they are looking at Fisher's Crossing and the developer Scott Seymour over there is getting no love from Coweta yet. The S 74 is a who knows. I don't see where even Logsdon's bumbling has changed much of the landscape of PTC.

I shop at the big boxes in PTC and am glad they are in town actually, so we'll have to agree to disagree on that anyway. PTC was special to me even when the land use plan called for 85K and many more big boxes than what exists now, so I can't complain about build-out being pretty much reached and a population of 40K max.

As stated below, you are whistling past the graveyard with your comments.

Uh, Doug....when you wake up from dreaming about PTC circa 1978, take a look on Hwy 54 West less than one mile from the Fayette/Coweta county line. You see that brand new building on the right? That is a Sam's Club. Yes it is in Coweta County but it is in spitting distance of PTC. So since a Sam's Club was going to be built right next to the PTC/Fayette County line and be called the PTC Sam's Club, then the shame of it all is it's not here in Fayette County and Coweta will reap the financial benefits. All we get here in PTC/Fayette is more traffic and congestion with our good citizens pouring over the county line to shop there with not one red penny to show for it. Your wishful thinking that big boxes go away does not have one shred of reality in it. Say, you aren't Doug Starkdumb are you?

Mike King's picture

No big boxes were built under Logsdon, so please make a point.

because it is different. But when a things are built right on our border, I think we need to take notice. The "you can move" comments get old. I've lived on the Southside of Atlanta my entire 47 years, and I'm not going anywhere.

That said, what was approved/built under Logsdon in the way of big boxes?

I do agree that the Sams would have been a stretch to make work here, but what about the movie theater? There used to be one here you know.

Are you saying you never enter the doors of ANY of the 7 big boxes I named? From your comments, I take it that's your story and you're sticking to it.

Just wondering what percent of the city's sales tax revenues come from the big boxes already here? Just imagine if they were not here. I suspect the city budget would be in worst shape than it already is and our property taxes would be much higher. The fact is the vast majority of folks shop at Walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc. and no amount of nostalgic thinking by Doug and others is going to change that. Having said that, I'm not advocating a big box on every corner. And I know small businesses create the vast majority of jobs here in GA. But you have to accept that things change and adapt accordingly. "Just say no" advocates like Doug, Donnie and Starkdumb just don't seem to get it and send the wrong message to any new business or retail prospects. And who loses? We the citizens of PTC with higher property taxes.

PTC Observer's picture

Still waiting to hear about the philosophy you employ to judge others that are more successful and your "right" to confiscate their property by force of government, simply because they have more than you.

Since you are very clear about your attacks on the rich, I for one would like to hear your lucid rationale on why you believe it's OK for you and people like you to take other people’s property and redistribute it.

Now of course there is always a possibility that you simply don't have any fundamental principles other than theft by taking.

Still waiting to hear your sound principles on your belief system.

Don Haddix's picture

For your consideration.

<a href="" target="_blank">Big Box Realities</a>

Coweta keeps building and building more retail and Big Boxes, yet their Sales Tax Revenues have been declining. They are collecting a lot of one time builder fees, but as any research will show depending on those kinds of revenues is a long term disaster when construction finally ends. Just look at the overbuilt counties.

Sam's Club, the Theater and Kohl's never approached PTC to build. They have been on the Fischer's Crossing site plan since at least 2007. The only change has been Kohl's cut the size planned by about half.

Logsdon supported Lowes at Wilshire, Kohl's at CCD, annexing Southern Pines for building the shopping center and other acreage that wanted to sell out to retailers as well and actively tried to recruit Costco.

Many cities are moving toward the Village Concept and revitalizing their downtown areas because the Big Boxes, malls, etc have proven negative on income, quality of life, home values and so on.

Steele pushed a TAD tax to buy the shopping center Hobby Lobby is leaving to rebuild as a multi family area. When it failed a group of doctors bought the center for some yet unknown usage.

There is nothing simple about this issue.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

PTC Observer's picture

"Coweta keeps building and building more retail and Big Boxes, yet their Sales Tax Revenues have been declining"

Have they been declining because of the economy? Are they in a better position to have greater revenues following the Great Recession compared to Fayette?

Please give a reference to this claim.

".... Kohl's never approached PTC to build."

Are you certain of this? I remember a builder trying to get a waiver on size restrictions specifically for a Kohl's store, and PTC council was having none of it at the tme.

Don Haddix's picture

I was on Council and saw all the proposals in 2008 and 2009 when CCD came forward. There never was a request for anything but footage. What McMurrain said and what he put on paper were two very different things. Only what was on paper counted at the end of the day.

As I already said, Kohl's signed on with Fischer in 2007 or earlier.

He also claimed Publix wanted to build there. I contacted Publix and they said no, not accurate.

The economy is hurting everyone. No, they are not in a better position in reality. Overbuilt counties were being hurt before the economy began the serious slide in 2008.

Fayette is overbuilt, but to a lesser degree. Our population growth has been stagnent for ten years because of complacency about getting jobs here. PTC Sales Tax was already sliding when I ran for office in 2007.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mike King's picture

"Fayette is overbuilt, but to a lesser degree. Our population growth has been stagnent for ten years because of complacency about getting jobs here. PTC Sales Tax was already sliding when I ran for office in 2007."

Mayor, can you say the same about the size and cost of city government? Of course not!

Don Haddix's picture

Size of government here is down, not up. Cost is up because even after freezing and cutting wages and/or benefits there were huge jumps in overhead everyone is struggling with now.

The cost of living in general is up. The consumer price index, in example, went up .2 in October and is up 1.9 from last year.

Cost increases in thing like medical and insurance, across the board, are absurd. As are other costs.

We need to increase our economic base, not raise taxes. As well cut spending on non essentials (Safety is essential).

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mike King's picture

Compare the cost of city government in 2006 (the year prior to you going on council) and where it is now. My point being the substantial growth in the numbers and cost of our police and fire is simply unjustifiable given the growth in population during the same period.

You call it a safety issue, I call it consecutive mayors being duped by out of control city management and a vocal and insecure minority of residents. Do you consider the purchase/lease of the police Harley essential? Maybe the duplicitous canine unit already available within county resources? You do realize we are part of Fayette County, and as such pay county taxes?

Why don't you list those nonessential items that you say we need to cut? We both know how I feel about the size of PTCPD.

"Our population growth has been stagnent for ten years because of complacency about getting jobs here."

Of all the outlandish statements, suppositions, and opinions you have offered both here and in other venues, this one may be the most outlandish and one without a basis.

Sir, what study or analysis do you reference with such a statement?

Don Haddix's picture
Population change 1990 to 2000 26.4%, which would put 1990 at around 25,050
2000 - 31,580
2003 - 33,010
2008 - 34,516
2010 - 34,784

And there is complacency. When did PTC last have an active job recruitment program? When was FCDA proactive instead of reactive?

Interpret it any way you want. I call it stagnant due to complacency when you look at the prior years. Personal opinion either way.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

All you have shown is a slowdown in population growth. You have still not proven a correlation between that and complacency in the recruitment of jobs to PTC as you stated in your previous post. Seems to me if you as Mayor are going expound such a position you would have some empirical data or study to back said position. And now you begin the back stepping with "personal opinion either way". I would argue that the beginning of the final build out of PTC had more to do with what you call stagnant growth than anything to do with lack of local jobs. Throw in a recession that most ecomomists say began in Dec of 2007 and the subsequent real estate market decline. Those factors are much more credible than your assertion about lack of local jobs.

PTC Observer's picture

Do you know when the "crash" started?

I find your logic and your facts a bit "thin" on this, but it's not worth arguing about.

I would say that in general it is better to have a retail tax base than not have one. So, if you believe that having retail stores outside the city limits a good thing, how do you propose raising revenue? I suppose it is your old standby SPLOST?

Mike King's picture

Glad to see you've returned to city issues.

Your reference, although dated and primarily focused in 'stressed' states (California, Michigan, and Massachusetts), seems, at least to me, a product of some economists who have spent their entire careers in academia rather than possessing real business experience. I would characterize them as opinions/findings of graduate student research rather than realities, but you and I have differing standards.

No matter how you spin it, Coweta County will be in receipt of Peachtree City tax revenue from those residents who you claim will not shop at Sam's.

Any movement on the Hwy 54 Publix area? No new density and an environmental plus over current sewage options.

Your statement that sales tax revenues in Coweta declined this past year is correct. However, there is absolutely no correlation between that and big boxes as you seem to be implying. Perhaps you haven't heard...we are in the worst recession since the Great Depression. That sir is the reason for the decline in Coweta's sales tax revenue. Not big boxes.

Indeed, the argument could be made that if not for the big box revenues, the decline would have been worse. Again, folks are looking for the best bargains when shopping and WalMart, Target and those type of stores provide the best bargains.

Of course, Sam's Club, the Theater and Kohls did not approach PTC...why should they with the constant droning of "no big boxes" shreaking out of city hall.

I too am a supporter of the village concept but that does not mean larger retail establishments cannot be a part of the economic mix. You seem to think otherwise. Again, go look at the parking lots at WalMart, Target, Home Depot, etc. Do you need further proof that these stores are what people want and are important to the city? Go back to city hall when it reopens Monday and research how much sales tax revenue they generate.

Can I assume you too do not shop at these big boxes in PTC? I would sincerely hope not.

No one wants one on all corners, but we will get NOTHING but traffic from the Sams that is about to open in Coweta County. The Peachtree City Sams at that. As a citizen here, that part bothers me.

I agree with others, why would they approach PTC with the attitude that you have?

I was positive that Kohls wanted to build at the property at the entrance to Planterra? Are you saying they didn't?

All that said, reasonable people can and do disagree.

Don Haddix's picture

I was not even running for Councilman when they chose to go to Fischer under a very pro Big Box Mayor and friendly Council. Think about it when you talk about my attitude having had some influence in 2007.

Kohn's never had a proposal to build at CCD, any more than McMurrain's claim Publix wanted to locate there was true.

I saw every proposal for that location. There never was any actual store name in any legal document, ever.

McMurrain had an approved plan in his hands and never built anything. Why? Because he never had any actual store signed up for the Big Boxes.

That stretch of road is already grade 'F.' Time will tell if Fischer succeeds or not. I believe there are factors many people are not considering.

Agree, people can disagree. No doubt about it.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

No you would rather build liquor stores, golf courses, empty strip malls, and O let us not forget the famous building from no where on 74 massive empty construction. Idiots

However the Coweta tee ans spend their liquor dollars in PTC. Ain't it beautiful. Live,buy homes in Coweta and work in PTC. Idiots

Don Haddix's picture

As for what some are calling Big Boxes:
Best Buy - 30,050 sq'
Office Depot - 20,000

Add 1,950 sq' to Best Buy and that is the 32,000 break point on a Big Box.

That gives a good perspective on how large a building has to be to become a Big Box.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Retail's a funny business with very narrow margins.We need to be careful what we wish for when we complain about them building all these swell stores in our neighboring county.Just read an interesting article in Wall St. 24/7 germaine to this discussion. Going into 2011 Kohls is on the bubble as well as Lowes, and several other retailers that may never see another Black Friday.Rite Aids on life support and is pretty much been written off as a goner. How many Rite Aids do we have in PTC? So while Coweta has seen a recent drop in sales tax revenue, they may have a larger problem brewing.

NUK_1's picture

Kohl's is not in any kind of financial trouble. They've never closed an existing store for that matter and I don't know where you get the conclusion they are on some kind of "bubble" right now. They are exceeding analyst predictions, are profitable, they are rated as A+ as far as their debt goes.....just how are they in some kind of "trouble?"

Lowe's is not in any kind of financial trouble whatsoever and are adding stores all over the world as their profitability continues to rise. The WSJ article last week states that their profitability for the quarter rose 17% and you some how think that means they are in trouble???

How you come to the totally wrong conclusion of Kohl's or Lowe's "maybe not ever seeing another Black Friday" is a real mystery to me and sure isn't based at all on fact.

RIte Aid has been in deep financial trouble due to huge debt for several years and when they absorbed most of Eckerd's, they took on even more debt as Eckerd's was dying rapidly. No surprise that Rite-Aid is in big trouble.

Thank you for the sage advice. As you recommended I did indeed re-read the article. The opinion remains the same, an opinion. So I guess we will see what happens during 2011.

Merry Christmas to you and your's Mr. Nuk

Many Fayette residents may drive into Coweta to shop, but there are many Coweta residents who shop in Peachtree City/Fayetteville also. It is much quicker to drive into Peachtree City from Senoia or Sharpsburg to shop at Wal-Mart and The Avenue. We also have to come all the way to Fayetteville if we need to go to Toys-R-Us or JoAnns not to mention that most cars at the Pavilion have Clayton, Fulton and Dekalb county tags so Fayette gets lots of tax revenue from other counties also.

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