Find it in Fayette this holiday season
This is a holiday letter, so I would love to be able to relate a touching tale of family and miracles to give you a catch in your throat and really drive home the importance of shopping locally. Unfortunately, I’m fresh out of those types of stories. Instead, I’ve got a medical analogy that may help illustrate how vital this issue is, now and year-round.
Think about your circulatory system, and more importantly, your blood. Except for that occasional pint donated to the Red Cross or the vials for your doctor to test, the best place for your blood is in your body, carrying oxygen and nourishment to all your organs. Loss of blood from a cut or gash can make you lethargic, susceptible to infection, or worse. Lose too much blood, and you will die.
Now, think of your money as the blood that pumps through the economy’s body, whether you are purchasing goods and services, paying taxes, or supporting charities. It is vital that you keep as much of that blood as you can inside the body that is Fayette County.
When spending your money, you might think it won’t hurt to pop over to Newnan for the sale at Kohl’s, right? Or if you fill up your gas tank on the way home from Atlanta, does that really hurt Fayette County? What about purchasing those holiday gifts online and having them delivered, because that seems cheaper and easier than going to a local store? Dinner at a restaurant in downtown Atlanta? After all, you’re just one person.
But what if every one of Peachtree City’s 37,000 residents felt the same way? Or all 104,000 of the residents of Fayette County? If one Fayette County resident makes a $50 purchase online or in Coweta, Clayton, or Fulton County, that’s $0.50 in sales taxes that Fayette County and its municipalities lose.
Plus the $50 sale that helps keep a local business running, an office or retail space from going dark, the loss of local jobs. Still, when talking about the size of our county, that $0.50 doesn’t seem like much more than a pinprick.
Now imagine all 13,600 Peachtree City households making that same purchase – just $50, just once. That’s closer to $7,000 in taxes trickling away. If they make that $50 purchase once a week, we now have $350,000 in tax dollars over the course of a year, bleeding out of our community.
Ouch! That’s a nick you can feel. And if all 35,000 Fayette County households take the same approach? We’re talking almost $1 million a year in tax dollars alone. How many local businesses would that corresponding $90 million in sales have kept open, paying local property taxes and providing local jobs?
That’s not making a small donation of our money, folks – that’s hemorrhaging! Our local economy’s life blood pouring out of Fayette County.
So, if you like, think of it as having a metaphoric soft heart and helping your community and your neighbors. Or, even better, commit to being part of the financial heart of this community, pumping that vital life blood through our local economy every day to keep it healthy.
If there is a killer sale at Kohl’s, shop the Kohl’s in Fayetteville instead of Newnan to keep your tax dollars here.
Looking for holiday gifts? Fayette County’s merchants offer just about everything anyone could ever need.
Gassing up the car for the week? Do it here instead of in Fairburn or downtown.
If everyone is thinking about that $50 a week, all year long, it can make a huge difference.
Happy Holidays, and thanks for supporting the local economy.
Peachtree City, Ga.
[Betsy Tyler is the city clerk and public information officer for Peachtree City.]