Shopping locally has positive impact

Published 8:39 am Saturday, November 26, 2016

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Small Business Saturday is traditionally the second busiest day of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday was once the biggest day but is becoming overshadowed by Cyber Monday.

Last year, with the Slice of Orange campaign with the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, helped bring in record number of sales for local businesses.

This year, Shop Orange County campaign is hoping to repeat the positive impact on local sales.

Sales tax is one way to increase revenue for the county. The other part of the equation is property tax.

In October 2016, the county received $357,584.33 in sales tax, 2.36 percent less than in 2015 for the same period. The number also reflects a 7.34 percent less in year to date figures. The county received $3,969,088.08 this year compared to $4,283,586.57 last year in year to date payments.

In property tax collections between Oct. 1 and Nov. 22, 2016, the county has collected $1,424,778.93 in property tax.

In the Tuesday afternoon Commissioners Court meeting, the court approved the paying of $395,427.13 in bills, which included $62,808.02 to United Health Care for retiree group health insurance for the month of December 2016.

The previous week, the court approved a deposit from the State Comptroller of Public Accounts, sales tax revenue, in the amount of $439,509.85 for the month of September 2016. In the next agenda item, the court approved the paying of bills in the amount of $727,584.77.

While property tax revenues for the county can come in weekly, sales tax revenue is once a month.

Shopping locally during the holiday season can increase the revenue for the county.

Orange County has shown a population increase of three percent from 2004 – 2014, slightly below the nine percent population increase for the United States. The state of Texas showed a 20 percent increase in population during the same period.

Shopping locally generates sales tax, which provides police and fire protection, improves road and bridges, and improves parks and recreation facilities. In turn, these benefits improve the quality of life for residents.

Increasing sales tax, by shopping locally, can lead to a decease in property tax while reflecting citizens supporting the community according to a presentation by the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.

A company scouting new locations is more likely to consider a location where residents support the community by shopping locally.

Shop Orange County is a countywide movement involving Bridge City, The Greater Orange Area and Vidor Chamber of Commerces to help educate citizens on the benefit of shopping locally. The money spent in Orange County stays in Orange County to improve the quality of life for residents. Think Orange County first during the holiday shopping season before ordering online or going to the mall. By shopping locally, it is one way an individual can help improve the area by starting the multiplier effect and growing the community.