To think that rural residents choose not to buy things in their rural locations, thereby robbing themselves of tax revenue, reflects a lack of familiarly with rural North Carolina.
Sure, small towns could provide a rural community with most of its needs 80 years ago, but today, country folks must drive through or around empty downtowns to larger, urban centers for goods and services.
I grew up in Stokes County, where most people travel to Winston-Salem to work and shop. My parents still live there, and my mother consciously purchases things in Stokes County specifically to keep the sales tax, but if she needs a better selection of products, she’s forced to Forsyth County. Need a new car? It’s off to Winston-Salem. Want more organic food options? Back to Winston-Salem. Time for a new refrigerator? Shop in Winston-Salem.
Rural spending by rural residents is not always an option. Sure, when rural residents come to town, they use some of the city’s amenities, but when considered from the rural perspective, returning tax dollars to the community that was taxed is not such a crazy idea. (And for the record, I can’t believe I’m agreeing with the General Assembly’s right wingers!)
Sarah Woodard David