City Sales Tax Revenues Increase, Fund Public Services
Keep it in the “O” Campaign encourages O'Fallon residents to shop locally.
O’Fallon city officials said they identified the decreasing sales tax revenue in the community and agreed to initiate change by launching the Keep it in the “O” campaign in late 2009, to encourage residents to dine and shop locally.
According to Tom Drabelle, director of public relations for the city of O’Fallon, the decline in sales tax profits was due in part to economy; however, another contributing factor was residents were primarily shopping and spending outside of their neighborhood.
“A decent portion of residents were looking to neighboring communities,” said Drabelle.
Since Keep it in the “O” campaign launched in late 2009, O’Fallon’s sales tax revenues have increased by 3 percent, and the local economy has shown improvement.
“When sales tax revenue decreases, things the city provides decreases too,” said Erin Williams, president and CEO of the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce. “Anything we can do to keep residents shopping locally is a good thing.”
According to Drabelle, 80 percent of the city’s funding comes from sales tax. In turn, when residents make purchases in O’Fallon, the sales tax money goes toward improving various services, such as public safety, parks and recreation and snow plowing. Local businesses are also generating larger profits as people learn more about the campaign.
“This is a chance for residents to re-invest back into the community,” said Drabelle. “We want people to look at O’Fallon as the best place to live for years to come.”
An example of the campaign and how it is affecting the area in a positive way comes from the street repair budget. When city officials were working in 2009 to create the 2010 budget, funds were originally scheduled to be cut from January to July 2010 for street repairs.
However, as year 2010 progressed sales tax profits increased, and the city of O’Fallon was able to fully finance street repair projects by July 2010. This item was added as an amendment to the originally budget. Street repairs are also included in this year’s total budget of $87 million.
“Residents shopped and this allowed us to complete street repairs and serves as a direct impact people had on the community,” said Drabelle.