If you've been in most local stores lately, you've probably seen the holiday displays -- a reminder of the busy shopping season to come.
Although it seems like the displays are put up earlier every year, it's a good reminder of the importance of shopping locally.
This week, Montgomery County reported an increase in its third quarter sales tax figures as compared with the same period last year. Officials believe if that trend continues, the county should see gains in the fourth quarter, which covers the last three months of the calendar year.
The county's share of the third quarter this year was $4.256 million, about $300,000 more than last year. The rest of the sales tax is distributed among Montgomery County's towns and villages and the city of Amsterdam.
The boost in revenue helps municipalities cover their expenses without having to turn to property tax payers. In fact, the towns of Amsterdam, Glen and Mohawk have credited sales tax revenues as one reason why they could stave off property taxes for their 2014 budgets.
Commercial growth in Montgomery County, particularly along the Route 30 corridor, has much to do with the increase in sales tax revenue. The stores along that stretch of highway attract people from across the region, and many outside of the county, meaning the sales tax cost is being spread around.
In addition to aiding municipalities which need the revenue wherever they can get it, shopping closer to home also provides a boost to locally owned businesses that continue to make a go of it, which isn't so easy given the current economic climate.
The box stores and chains along Route 30 give people very little reason to venture outside of the area during the holidays. Shoppers should also consider making purchases at the local stores that still exist within the city and the many smaller communities across the region.
We encourage folks to stay closer to home this year while doing their holiday shopping. The benefits are wide-reaching, and everyone needs to do their part to make this a thriving region.
Shopping locally is a good place to start.