Don’t be a Grinch — Shop in PTC, Fayette
Turning the corner on November means the holiday shopping season is upon us once again. It won’t be long before all the Whos down in Whoville will be clasping hands and singing in the spirit of the season.
After spending about seven months hashing through Peachtree City’s budget this year, I have a new and different perspective on our friend The Grinch. I see him sneaking around, but not with a bag slung over his shoulder. I see him driving a car and heading outside Fayette County to do his shopping.
When we make purchases in Fayette County, sales tax dollars stay in Fayette County. When we make purchases outside Fayette County, our sales tax dollars are lost to that county.
Of the 6 percent sales tax we pay in Fayette, 4 percent goes to the state; 1 percent goes to the Fayette County Board of Education; and 1 percent is divided among jurisdictions with Fayette County. Sales tax revenues are Peachtree City’s second largest revenue source. (Property taxes are the largest.) Sales tax, sometimes called Local Option Sales Tax, or LOST, helps fund all of our core General Fund services.
Sales tax revenues in Peachtree City have dropped significantly with the downturn in the economy. In Fiscal Year 2007, we reaped over $7.16 million. In FY2008, we saw about $6.71 million. When the economy went soft and citizens cut back on purchases in FY2009, Peachtree City’s sales tax revenues dropped to $5.87 million.
Choosing to shop outside Fayette County means Fayette County loses and our neighboring counties profit from our loss – a double Grinch whammy. In 2009, Peachtree City staff asked our auditors to provide LOST figures for a sampling of counties in Georgia.
They calculated an average decline of about 7 percent over one year. However, the decline for Fayette County was over 12 percent, while the decline for Coweta County was just over 2 percent.
Interestingly, Fayette County was 5 percent above the average decline while Coweta County was 5 percent below the average decline. This occurred right about the time the development of the Ashley Park commercial area in Newnan neared completion. One might conclude that Fayette experienced a 5 percent loss of sales tax revenue to Coweta County, and right at the worst possible time. Bad for us, but great for Coweta!
What can Peachtree City citizens do about it? “Find it in Fayette!” says the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. Choosing to shop in our own county means we are supporting our own, and our neighbors’, businesses. It means supporting Peachtree City by shopping here first. If you can’t find what you need in PTC, then buy it elsewhere within Fayette County.
Will you be hosting out-of-town company when you carve your roast beast this year? Encourage them to stay in Peachtree City hotels! Hotel/motel tax dollars collected in PTC hotels go to our CVB, totaling about $800,000 per year. All of this money is used to promote our city.
Consider hosting your holiday parties at PTC restaurants and patronizing PTC catering establishments, since we also realize 100 percent of the alcoholic beverage taxes, which totaled nearly $700,000 in FY2009.
Finally, watch for upcoming information about “The 43 percent Solution,” a community program highlighting the tremendous impact you have on your own community when you shop locally. Knowing what it means to “Find it in Fayette” and “Shop Peachtree City,” all I can say is, You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch ...
City Council Post 3
Peachtree City, Ga.