The 43% Solution: Buy your beer here


Did you ever think buying beer could lower your property taxes? I’ve got good news — it can! Here’s how.

For argument’s sake, let’s say that a local government needs $10,000 a day to operate. Simplify it further and say that $5,000 of this $10,000 a day comes from property tax revenue and the other $5,000 comes from sales tax revenue.

Every time money is spent outside of this local community, dollars are lost from the sales tax side and have to be made up on the property tax side.

There’s your connection between buying beer here and lowering your property taxes (I had to get your attention somehow). There are obviously more moving parts to this, but humor me …

I recently read that at least 43 percent of money spent locally stays within that community through local tax collection and recirculation of funds. That’s a lot of money either kept or lost.

It inspired me. I wanted to see how I could keep more of my purchases local. My first test found me driving home from Birmingham on a half tank of gas. I was on “E” by the time I hit Exit 61, but I was on a mission and made it back into the bubble on fumes. I felt like I had won a contest.

My second test: pick up various sundries on my way home from work. The store that my commute normally takes me by was not in PTC, though. Lo and behold, I was able to find a perfectly good store in PTC with the same items and better customer service. All I had to do was make a conscious effort to see if I had a local alternative, and I did.

I know there is life outside of PTC, and you will eventually need to venture out. If your purchase cannot be made in PTC, and your choice is now between Fayetteville and Newnan, go to Fayetteville. The same concept applies on a county level. This leads to the third test, which was my wife’s test.

Now, let me tell you about my wife. She is the shopper/spender in our family and is in my opinion an expert on all matters relating to shopping and spending money. So, when she needed something at Belk (locations in Fayetteville and Newnan), her resolve was tested.

She prefers the shopping experience in Newnan, but she made the decision to change her routine and go to Fayetteville instead — all because she understands how her shopping habits outside of PTC affect our property tax here at home.

So I brought all this up at a recent Development Authority of Peachtree City meeting and asked what we can do to get more people to consider where they shop and where they leave their 43 percent.

The collaborative effort resulted in “The 43% Solution.” The 43% Solution is the name of a local education effort we came up with to reinforce the concept of trying to keep your purchases local when possible.

The idea is to provide small window stickers to local businesses that say “The 43% Solution” based on the age-old advertising concept of repetition. The more we see it, the more it will sink in.

When you see The 43% Solution, think about the fact that for every dollar you spend in that store, at least 43 cents will stay in our community.

When you see The 43% Solution, think about the fact that that local business is a positive variable in keeping your property taxes low.

Most importantly, when you see The 43% Solution, think about the fact that you are a positive variable in keeping your property taxes low. Happy Shopping!

David H. Conner

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Connor, a volunteer member of the Development Authority of Peachtree City, works for Timber Products Inspection, Inc.]