People are busy and schedules are hectic these days! To make time for everything, many individuals are going online to conduct business, order home-delivery of food and make purchases that have traditionally taken place in person at local businesses. While online shopping can make life a bit easier, did you know that it also has a direct impact on sales tax revenue and your local government’s ability to provide the great services on which you, your friends and family rely?
Sales tax is important to Parker as it is the main source of revenue for the Town. In fact, sales tax makes up 87% of all taxes collected by the Town and provides funding for the many services and amenities enjoyed by residents and visitors, including police protection and public safety; road and traffic enhancements and improvements; parks, trails and recreation facilities; community events and more.
We know there is a perception among some community members that the Town of Parker has unlimited funding available. While our funds have always had a limit, for many years, Parker enjoyed steadily increasing sales tax revenues, which allowed us to build state-of-the-art amenities for our residents and complete many capital projects that positively impacted the future of our community. However, since fall 2017 and continuing into 2018, the Town has seen a rapidly decreasing sales tax growth rate and we are now expecting a flat rate of growth in 2018, as compared to the original forecasted budget of an 8 percent sales tax revenue increase.The revenue decline that Parker is experiencing, along with many of our neighboring communities, is causing us to examine our expenditures even more closely and make some significant reductions. On May 7, 2018, a budget reduction of approximately $2.7 million will be considered by Town Council. This reduction is being distributed across all departments and some areas where the community may see reductions in services include:
- Reduction in holiday lighting/décor on Mainstreet
- Reductions in plant and tree replacements in medians, parks and facilities
- Deferred maintenance on equipment/facilities
- Reduction in funds for bridges, concrete and road resurfacing
- Harvie Open Space opening delayed until at least 2020
- Implementation of certain strategic and master plans delayed
- Reduction in small business assistance programs
- Reduction in number of national touring acts at the PACE Center
- No shade structures to be installed at Discovery Park
Additionally, fees for some previously free services may be implemented or existing fees/ticket prices increased to help offset the need for additional budget reductions.
How can you help?
Did you know that when you make a $100 purchase in Parker at an independent, local store, $48 stays in your community (including payroll, goods/services purchased, profits spent local by owners, and charitable contributions)? A chain restaurant/store located in Parker keeps $14 local, while only $1 of a $100 online purchase comes back to Parker.
So, Choose Parker and keep your tax dollars supporting local programs and services, all while supporting Parker’s distinct business community. Before you hop online or head out of our community to shop, do some research and see what you can purchase locally. Visit the Town’s online business directory, www.ParkerOnline.org/BusinessDirectory to see what’s here!
Tune in to the Town’s marketing and social media channels for more information, business features, fact and statistics and more. You can find the Town on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching TownOfParkerCO.
For more information about this budget reduction, you may watch the budget presentation from the Monday, May 7 Council meeting on the Town's YouTube channel, beginning at 45:45.