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From the editor

Buy local: Don't short Tucson business over sales-tax increase

Please allow a moment of personal privilege in the debate:

I find it more than a bit disappointing that the petulant reaction to Tucson voters approving a half-cent bump in the sales tax is for some who opposed it to declare that they'll now "do all their shopping online."

It's important to do business with local small business. That's how money stays in our community — support your local mom and pop. Stomping off to buy stuff on Amazon takes money away from them, and means they do less business themselves here in town (and ultimately, have fewer employees).

And you know what? Newsflash: if you live in Tucson and buy something from Amazon, you'll still pay city sales tax.

Yes, I've got an Amazon Prime account; mostly for the great TV. And it's easy and quick to buy stuff there, especially with "free" shipping. But I also care about what's going on in this town, and thriving local small businesses are a vital part of that. The numbers are clear: spend $100 at a locally owned business, and $43 remains in the local economy. Shop an a non-local chain, and just $13 circulates here. Shop online and (except for those sales taxes) it all goes elsewhere.

No matter whether you cast a ballot in favor of Prop. 101 or not (and a lot of people did neither), it'll take effect on July 1. As with any package deal, there were parts of it to favor and parts to not like so much, no matter what your political point of view might be. Thus, we saw the Bus Riders Union and Black Lives Matter aligned with the Pima County Republican Party, and the Metro and Hispanic chambers siding with the Democrats.

Local shops will now be reprogramming their registers, and I'll be watching like a hawk to make sure this money gets spent the way it should. That's my job, and bureaucrats do better work when they know somebody's looking over their shoulder. But, when it's practical, I'm also going to continue to opt to spend money with businesses that are owned by people who live here.

We just had an election in which people voted with ballots. Now all of us have the opportunity to vote with our dollars.

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Latest comments on this storyRead all 4 »

May 22, 2017, 10:56 am
-2 +2

This may surprise “Do Tar,” but I think that they did consider the consequences of NOT passing the sales tax, namely bad roads and an under-equipped police force. Money for these things does not fall from the sky.

May 20, 2017, 5:39 pm
-2 +2

Every resident faces a choice: Build a community or leech off of it. Well funded communities have better amenities, better choices, better schools and higher paying jobs. It’s really that simple

May 18, 2017, 3:23 pm
-3 +2

The Metro and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce supported this tax.  Maybe they should have considered the consequences to their members.

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