Shopping locally pays off |

Shopping locally pays off

Kelsy Been
Garfield County Public Library District
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Photo Courtesy Emily HiselShopping locally supports library programs such as storytime for preschoolers and toddlers. This young child just listened to stories about shapes and is now practicing matching those shapes to his paper.

Living locally is in. That is, eating locally grown food and shopping at local businesses is the latest trend. But that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it. Many people are still driving to Grand Junction or Denver to save a few bucks on their purchases. Most shoppers want to get the most bang for their buck and are willing to go the distance to do so – especially in today’s economy.

However, what most people don’t realize is that by shopping locally, you are supporting entities that provide services to your community through the sales tax generated in your community. The Garfield County Public Library District recognizes that your tax dollars are precious and that shopping locally supports your local libraries and more.

For instance, if you live in Glenwood Springs and buy $100 worth of food, treats, and toys for your beloved dog at the local food store, your grand total will be $108.60 with sales tax. Sales tax can be frustrating because when you dish out that extra money, it may seem that you’re not getting anything tangible in return. To some, it may seem like a mysterious wad of cash that disappears into a black hole. In reality, that 8.6 percent sales tax is divided between the following entities: the State of Colorado (2.9 percent), Garfield County (1 percent), city of Glenwood Springs (3.7 percent), and the Rural Transit Authority (1 percent). These entities use sales tax income to support a number of public services, and Garfield County’s share supports a number of essential services including Garfield County Libraries, 911 communications, the Sheriff’s Office, Human Services, Road and Bridge and much, much more.

Garfield County Libraries’ general operating fund comes solely from sales tax. The Library District receives 1⁄4 cent of sales tax from the county, or 22 cents of that $8.60 from your canine-friendly purchase. This 22 cents goes toward library books, staff salaries and public programming. Sales tax collections in Garfield County are down almost 50 percent since 2008, which makes it even more important to shop locally to support Garfield County public services.

So even if you spend an extra dollar on a squirrel chew toy in Glenwood Springs, at least you know that the sales tax you pay will be returned to you, your family and your community in the form of other services.

Join CSU Master Gardener Patrick McCarty as he discusses tips and tricks to extend your garden season and get the most out of your harvest this fall. The program will be held at the Silt Branch Library on Thursday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. McCarty will give a presentation and also answer questions. The program is free and open to both beginners and experienced gardeners with refreshments served. For more information please call 876-5500.

Literacy Outreach continues the series of financial literacy classes this month with the topic “Buying a Home.” The process of buying a home is easy when you break it down step by step. The course is for both first-time buyers and current homeowners, and will help you master all the financial aspects of home ownership. This financial literacy course will be offered in two sessions at the Rifle Branch Library on Tuesday, Aug. 23. The Spanish session will begin at 12:30 p.m., and the English session will begin at 6:30 p.m. This workshop is brought to you by Wells Fargo Bank, Literacy Outreach, and the Garfield County Libraries.

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