OPINION COLUMNS

Look, spend local; With revenue streams drying up, it’s time to keep money here

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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With the Internet at our fingertips and one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the nation a few miles down the road, shopping options are limitless.

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

All of us are looking for the best deal on the latest fashion or the next knickknack for our collection. That search often leads out of Wise County, but often what we are looking for is available right here at a local retailer. Even if you do pay a dollar or two more, the convenience and lack of frustration dealing with shipping or fighting traffic in the big city should be worth it.

On top of making life easier, your dollars are needed more than ever to lend a helping hand to our local entities in a changing, difficult economy.

In Texas, we are used to boom and bust times based on the energy sector – primarily oil and gas. During a boom like we experienced a few years ago, times are good. Oil and gas workers flood the community, tossing around money in restaurants, hotels and stores, but we’re also too familiar with the bust. Spending money dries up faster than water on a hot August sidewalk, and that’s where we find ourselves today with crude oil trading at a trickle over $48 per barrel.

That decline in oil prices has led to a sharp decline in property values, along with a fall-off in sales tax receipts. Add in a rainy spring, and the revenue stream becomes murkier as cities sell less water to residents.

At this time, there’s an even greater need to keep money in the community to help cities maintain water lines, fix potholes and pay for emergency responders.

And despite what you might think, dollars spent at home with locally-owned businesses do help. Nearly three-fourths of every dollar spent with a locally-owned business stays in the community. Even spending locally with a national chain is better than going out of town with 43 cents of a dollar staying here.

Money spent locally will likely come back to you because a larger collection in sales tax could lead to lower property taxes.

As the local campaign pointed out, you can’t always purchase everything locally, you can make a difference by looking locally first. And now, a little difference is needed.

Richard Greene is the Messenger’s sports editor.

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