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Online buying cuts Springfield city government profits

You may not believe but its true, Buying online usually conserves money for customers, but it comes at a price where they live. The City of Springfield depends primarily on sales tax earnings to make the city run, utilizing the money on factors like police as well as fire services, and for upkeep.
Springfield (City in Massachusetts) relies mostly on the revenue the sales tax to make the city run, using the money on things like police and fire services, and for maintenance on roads and bridges.

It’s so easy to go online these days and get everything you need, but it’s costing us big time in the way of services.

One picture says it all: a front door piled high with boxes.

“We definitely did more online shopping than we ever have,” said Valerie Poynor.

Poynor says it’s the time saved, and time of day you can do it.

“The long lines definitely plays in — my husband does not like crowds, I don’t love them — so being able to come home from work and do the Christmas shopping that you need to do and get it done is fantastic,” Poynor said.

The traffic and long lines are nonexistent online.

“I like Amazon, 6pm.com,” Poynor said.

The sales tax revenue is also non-existent there.

“If you were to shop online at a Target or a Walmart, as long as there is a store here in Greene County, we would collect that local sales tax, but, if you shop at a Cabella’s or some other place where we don’t have a store here, we’re not going to get that local sales tax,” said Chris Coulter, Greene County’s acting administrator.

Coulter has a formula: online shopping will cost Greene County $135,000 in lost revenue for just this Christmas shopping season.

“We’ve had to cut so many services because of loss of revenue. It’d be nice to kind of re-establish some of those services to our citizens, and we cannot do it without their help, and it’s just a matter of shopping local. It’s not that tough,” Coulter said.

A City of Springfield official estimates online shopping has cost Springfield about $555,000 in lost tax revenue — money that would be spent on police, fire and roads.

“We’ve had a great season,” said Cathy Cooley, manager of The Market in Springfield.

While many are still shopping at the brick-and-mortar stores like The Market, many more are online.

“A lot of people mention the fact that they’d rather shop locally than online,” Cooley said.

“It’s more the ease; we both work and so we can come home, we can shop whenever we have the time and most places offer free shipping, so it’s delivered directly to your door,” Poynor said.

Most of us are choosing to shop, at least some, online. The American Research Group estimates the average household will spend $861 on Christmas gifts this year, and 54 percent of purchases are online.

About Christopher T. Ellis

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