Shop Local: Keeping money local helps the community – Minden Press-Herald
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Shop Local: Keeping money local helps the community

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City of Minden crews work to replace a culvert at a drainage ditch on Sheppard Street. A portion of the road was closed as a precaution, because a 16-inch water line runs underneath the street and close to the culvert. Michelle Bates/Press-Herald

Editor’s note: This story is part one of a series spotlighting why shopping local matters.

Local sales taxes generate revenue for a host of vital services for the communities in which they are dedicated.

Sales taxes are used to repair roads, offer police and fire protection and help keep communities running.

Minden Mayor Tommy Davis said most of the city’s revenue comes from sales taxes and the fees charged for water, sewer and electricity. For the 2016-17 fiscal year, the city is expected to generate roughly $2.9 million in sales taxes. He explained while a customer pays 10.5 percent in taxes, only 2 percent of those go to the city.

“One cent is dedicated to sewer, the water plant and recreation,” he said. “The other cent goes into our general fund. In the general fund, that’s where we pay for streets, the fire department, the police department, all the services the city provides.”
Dr. Ashley Buffington, a local veterinarian, said while she doesn’t “love” to pay taxes, she understands the importance of paying them. Due to the nature of her business, having police protection is an ideal way sales taxes assist in reducing theft.

Dr. Ashley Buffington, a local veterinarian, said while she doesn’t “love” to pay taxes, she understands the importance of paying them. Due to the nature of her business, having police protection is an ideal way sales taxes assist in reducing theft.
“We have an alarm system here, and sometimes my alarm goes off,” she said. “With that, me or someone from my hospital is notified. Typically, the police are the first ones to show up to try to figure out if someone is trying to break into my business or because an animal has performed a Houdini and has escaped from their kennel, which a lot of times, that’s what it is.”

“We have an alarm system here, and sometimes my alarm goes off,” she said. “With that, me or someone from my hospital is notified. Typically, the police are the first ones to show up to try to figure out if someone is trying to break into my business or because an animal has performed a Houdini and has escaped from their kennel, which a lot of times, that’s what it is.”
She said officers often do spot checks, and she is thankful that in the years she’s been in business she has never had a break-in.

She said officers often do spot checks, and she is thankful that in the years she’s been in business she has never had a break-in.
“Also, randomly, we’ll get a note from the police department saying, ‘We came by and checked out your building, and everything looks secure,’” she said. “Every so often we’ll have a sticky note on the door saying they’ve come by, and it makes me feel good.”

“Also, randomly, we’ll get a note from the police department saying, ‘We came by and checked out your building, and everything looks secure,’” she said. “Every so often we’ll have a sticky note on the door saying they’ve come by, and it makes me feel good.”
The city has other revenue streams, such as property taxes, which generate less than $450,000 annually, but they depend on the fees charged and the sales taxes generated throughout the year to function daily.

The city has other revenue streams, such as property taxes, which generate less than $450,000 annually, but they depend on the fees charged and the sales taxes generated throughout the year to function daily.
“The city’s portion of property taxes is very small,” Davis said. “Some of our revenue comes from the sales tax, a little bit from the property tax, but then from the fees we charge, such as our water and sewer fees. Some of the money from electrical sales is transferred into the general fund also.”

“The city’s portion of property taxes is very small,” Davis said. “Some of our revenue comes from the sales tax, a little bit from the property tax, but then from the fees we charge, such as our water and sewer fees. Some of the money from electrical sales is transferred into the general fund also.”

Davis stressed the importance of the revenue from sales taxes, saying it is how the city provides services to its residents and businesses. Water, electricity and sewer are  somewhat self-supporting, however, it takes the additional revenue from sales taxes and other revenue streams to provide these services.

“We all want to ride on good streets, we all want good fire protection and we all want good police protection,” he said. “We all want the services the city provides, and in order to do that, we have to have revenue.”