Putting sales tax revenue to good use

Published 6:12 pm Monday, June 17, 2019

Many people have heard political and local business owners continually talk about shopping local and the impact it has on a local community.

After all, spending money at your local grocery store, gas station and restaurant have to be good for the community, correct? The answer is an overwhelming yes. Not only is it just good for the community, but we would also argue that it is essential to a small town’s livelihood that its residents spend their dollars within the community.

We understand there are temptations to spend our hard-earned dollars outside of the Greater Valley area with Tiger Town in Opelika just a few miles down Interstate 85 and Atlanta just a little more than an hour the other way.

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However, sales tax revenue is one of the biggest economic drivers in a small town that allows it to self-sustainable and provide infrastructure for its residents.

Let’s use Valley as an example. According to Mayor Leonard Riley, the city has a realistic chance to break $7 million in sales revenue this fiscal year. For comparison’s sake, looking at this past year, the city generated about $6.7 million, and in the 2011-12 fiscal year, it brought in about $5.8 million.

Basically, the city is trending upward. However, the mayor and council aren’t just sitting on the cash — they are putting it to use.

Since the tax has been imposed, the city spent $2.3 million on the construction of the Valley Sportsplex, built a new senior center and spent about $500,000 on renovating the swimming pool at the Valley Community Center. Also, Riley said the city has also paved about $5 million worth of roads.

The sales tax revenue has also put Valley in the driver’s seat when it comes to economic development. The city owns more than 1,000 acres in developable land just off exit 77. Owning the property means the city has a seat at the table when it comes to what will be built there. This is a luxury many towns do not have. It also means when the land is sold, the money from the development goes back to the city and not a developer who may lived in another region.

Most of this is due to sales tax and the money spent by residents in Valley.

We know it can be enticing to head to Opelika or Atlanta, but it’s worth a look to see if what you want is around here first. 

Our guess is that most of the time you can find what you want within Chambers County.