Shopping Local Supports Local Services

Mary Ardapple, Peoria County Board

Not only is shopping local vital to the local economy, it is also essential to delivering local government services. That's why Peoria County and the City of Peoria have partnered on "Live & Shop Peoria" and "Live & Shop Peoria County" campaigns. The retail sales tax we pay when we make a purchase at a local store has a huge impact on local government revenues. For every $100 spent on general commodities in unincorporated Peoria County, you pay $6.75 in sales tax. Of that total, $1.75 is returned back to Peoria County government. For the same $100 spent at a business in the City of Peoria, the total sales tax paid is $8.25 (with the exception of some special zones, in which an extra sales tax is applied). Of that $8.25, the City keeps $2.50, while 75 cents goes to Peoria County.

Every online purchase we make that could have been made at a local store decreases the amount of sales tax revenue both governments have available to deliver basic and critical services. Approximately $16.3 million—or 36 percent of Peoria County's general revenues—are obtained through sales taxes. Likewise, nearly 24 percent of the City of Peoria's total revenue comes from sales tax. This is significant, considering that sales tax revenues are used to help provide vital services: law enforcement, fire protection, road maintenance, snow removal, code enforcement and record keeping, among many other public services.

Another reason to shop local is the local multiplier effect. Local small businesses will more often utilize the services of other small businesses in the community; this recirculation of money is a little-known, yet extremely valuable feature of our local economy. As this money passes through more hands in the local economy, more and more people locally benefit from it. One million dollars, entering the local economy and circulating 10 times, acts like $10 million—increasing revenue and income opportunities for other local businesses.

However, money in the local economy stops circulating at the point a purchase is made outside of it. Buying online, for example, ultimately exports consumer dollars outside of Peoria. One million dollars spent in this way derives only a one-time use of such funds in the local economy, rather than several million.

Therefore, Peoria County and the City of Peoria are encouraging residents to buy local and shop where they live—keeping dollars in the local community and supporting the local services from which all of us benefit.

To learn more about Peoria County's Live & Shop Campaign, visit liveshoppeoriacounty.com or find it on Facebook at @LiveShopPeoriaCounty. iBi

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