If you can’t buy local, ship local

As you may have heard, President Biden recently signed a $1.9 trillion COVID bill. Regardless of your support for this partisan COVID relief plan, the fact remains that a majority of our community will receive an individual check. How much, you ask? According to NBC News, individuals who make less than $75,000 will receive $1,400 or married couples who make less than $150,000 would receive $2,800.

In addition to the amounts for adults, parents would get $1,400 more for every child on their tax returns. The purpose of this third stimulus check is to provide economic relief to individuals in an effort to help boost the American economy.

I am asking each person who receives this stimulus check, to consider spending a portion of this locally. Many small businesses have struggled to survive this pandemic, and unfortunately others have had no choice but to close their doors. If each person would dedicate a portion of their stimulus check back into Cherokee, the businesses in Cherokee will receive much needed support.

Since I have become your City Manager, I have expressed my desire to everyone the importance to “buy local.” By making your purchases local, you are providing jobs and income for your neighbors and friends. For those times when you cannot purchase something local, I hope you make your purchase online and have the item “shipped local.” By using the “buy local, ship local” motto, you are helping your hometown by keeping your tax dollars local.

The annual budget for the City of Cherokee directly relies on sales tax received. Each budget cycle, we sit down and guess how much we think people will purchase within the city limits of Cherokee. Due to no guarantees in sales tax, we have to make several modifications to the annual budget to account for the increase or decrease in sales tax revenue. Although it may seem like our local tax bracket is high, the City of Cherokee only receives 3.25% of each purchase. The remaining tax percentage goes to the State of Oklahoma and Alfalfa County.

As citizens utilize the “buy local, ship local” motto, our sales tax revenue is increased and we can invest more money in critical infrastructure projects like street repairs, sidewalks, storm water drainage, water and sewer lines, etc. As sales tax revenue decreases, we have no choice, but to significantly scale back the amount of spending towards our critical infrastructure.

Please remember – if you can’t buy local, ship local. Your community depends on it!

Thank you for the opportunity to serve this community that I love!

Your City Manager,

Michael Jones

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