I often speak to the business owners when I write. This time, I’m speaking to the consumers and how local taxes affect them. And while some of this is specific to where I live, it also applies to other parts of the world.
I recently wrote this in a local Facebook group:
“People living in the Pal-Mac School district are among the highest taxed in the nation (that includes all taxes – state, property, school, sales, income, etc.) We don’t have the prosperity within our boundaries to justify this. Our taxes are approaching unsustainable (meaning people are starting to abandon their homes leaving the tax burden on the rest of us, and an eye-sore of an unmaintained property in our midsts. We’re not alone, and not as bad off as some of the other villages in our county.)
“When you shop at a local business that pays property & school taxes in your school district, not only are they supporting your local schools, they also collect sales tax, which a portion comes back to your local community. When you do business outside your local school district, you are providing money (in the form of tax revenue) to another school district. (And, if you go to a business that doesn’t collect sales tax, not only are they breaking the law, they are also cheating the rest of us because the honest people have to compensate for those taxes not collected.)
“So, please choose someone local, who collects and pays taxes locally, because they financially support our schools.”
As a consumer, how does your spending habits impact your community?
I think this is a valid question. Now, I’m going to look at this question from a business-owner perspective.
If I owned a small shop in city A, and I noticed most of my business came from city B. I might consider moving to city A to be closer to my customers. If I owned a small shop in any city, and none of the locals came to my shop, I wouldn’t be able to stay in business. This would force me to move too.
From the community perspective…
When a business closes in your community, ask yourself what that says about the community. When multiple businesses close in your community, seriously ask yourself what is wrong in that community. When businesses close it leaves a tax void in your community. When communities don’t collect enough taxes, taxes go up, and so does the cost of everything else.
It is easy to blame things like local taxes, yet I know business that thrive in high tax areas. Business close for one reason — they aren’t profitable! There may be factors that contribute to their not being profitable like bad management, a bad location, poor marketing, etc. But it all comes down, in the end, to not making money.
Who pays? In the end, the consumer always pays. That’s right. In the end, the consumer always pays.
For example, a business going bankrupt and leaving behind unpaid debts results in you, the consumer, taking on the payment of that debt. Paying the debt can be through higher taxes, higher fees at the bank, and other hidden costs that are passed on to you.
Buying locally makes financial sense. I admit you may not have a business locally that has the product or service you need. I get that, but when possible, supporting local businesses puts money back in YOUR pocket.
D. Brent Walton is author of 25 Things Business Owners Do To Undermine Their Business – and How to Avoid and Correct Them. He resides in Palmyra, New York, and owns a tourist home and photography studio there.