According to the Illinois Department of Revenue website, disbursements for Metropolis and Massac County year over year for May 2013 collections through December 2013 collections were up $91,334.85. Of the 6.25 percent sales tax on all purchases, 5 percent goes to the state, 1 percent goes to the municipality the purchase is in (or the county if the purchase is outside a municipality) and .25 percent goes to the county.
Although the specifics of the increase are hard to pinpoint, several marketing efforts by the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, Metropolis Tourism and a group of several business merchants can be attributed to the increase.
In March 2013, the Metro•Chamber began a Think Local First campaign to encourage residents to shop local. Lisa Gower, president of the chamber, expressed her pride in the community for embracing the campaign. “We wanted to turn everyone’s purchasing decisions into a habit. Think before you buy. Hopefully it is a habit that everyone will keep,” she said.
The campaign consisted of newspaper ads and inserts with coupons, marketing posters and buttons, and more presence at community events such as the Labor Day parade in September.
The largest increases were seen in August and September with over $20,000 more per month than last year. The third largest month was October with over $10,000 in increased tax money.
In October several business owners, along with Metropolis Tourism, joined forces to market Metropolis to not only Massac County residents but to customers in western Kentucky with a Discover Metropolis campaign in area newspapers through the end of the year. “August through December were really good months for me,” said Amanda King, owner of White Lili Boutique. “I paid attention to what other boutiques were doing and followed suit with my advertising and marketing.”
Susan Odum, an extension educator for the University of Illinois Extension office, says there is a certainly a trickle effect when it comes to shop local campaigns, and feels the significant increase can be attributed to the Think Local First campaign and follow-up advertisements by the chamber and other businesses. “For example, as one spends more money in the local economy, then the store owner in turn has more money available to spend in the local economy,” she said.
Metropolis Tourism also increased its marketing efforts by adding radio and a second outdoor billboard close to exit 3 in Paducah to promote upcoming events. Higher attendance numbers at large events saw an increase in tax dollars. “We have had some record breaking attendances this past year. The Superman Celebration was bigger than ever before. The Archery Tournament brought in over 20,000 people and the Encampment was just shy of 200,000 people,” said Lindsey Stoner, director of Metropolis Tourism.
Metropolis’ increase of $32,221 and Massac County’s increase of $59,113 both went to their respective general funds to be used for general operations of the city and county.
“I think all of this combined has made it such a successful year for Metropolis. We need to continue to work together and keep it up,” Stoner said.