Archived Story

Invest in this community with dollars

Published 12:03am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The world outside the boundaries of Adams County and Concordia Parish made more than $42,000 off the Natchez municipal elections.

That doesn’t count unreported funds.

It’s a ridiculous notion. Men and women seeking to make a better Natchez take their money outside the city in the process of the campaign.

Some of those seeking county office last fall did the same thing, spending a combined $6,297.61 of local dollars out of town.

That means approximately $50,000 has left our great community in this most recent election cycle.

Why?

Candidates will argue a variety of things — some services aren’t available in Natchez, campaign signs are cheaper online, there are no political consultants in Natchez.

Those arguments are true on most accounts, but do they justify sending $50,000 out of our community?

Every candidate in the city’s races who has turned in a campaign finance report with itemized reports and expenditures of more than $1,500 has spent at least some money outside of Natchez — except for one.

No one knows better how sales tax revenues affect the City of Natchez than Donnie Holloway.

And I bet that’s why none of Holloway’s campaign money crossed the city line.

Holloway has been city clerk for a decade. He was responsible for the city’s finances in the months after Hurricane Katrina when sales tax revenue from an increased population of evacuees was pouring in.

He was counting pennies in 2008 and 2009 when the bottom fell out of the national and local economies and the people stopped spending.

The city’s buck stops with Holloway each month when payroll is due and bills roll in.

It’s likely Holloway would quickly find a place for the sales tax revenue that could have been generated by $50,000 in sales this past year.

Natchez is not a big city. We don’t have very many big box stores with cutthroat prices.

We don’t have highly experienced, costly political consultants.

Smith Printing, Lazarus Arts, Sign Graphics, Maxwell Printing and Southern Signs will likely never be able to compete with the online pricing available on signs and T-shirts.

But those businesses, the local wannabe political gurus, and the Natchez technology geeks do contribute daily to making Natchez a better place.

They pay local taxes, employ local people, shop in local stores and turn the dollar over in our community.

Yes, far more than $50,000 WAS spent locally in this campaign, thankfully.

But sometimes it’s not about what we have; it’s about what we’ve lost.

Natchez is a fine community with countless political resources.

It’s great that so many people are willing to invest in our community by seeking public office.

We need and welcome that investment.

But our local businesses also need the investment of cash money.

Next time, let’s keep our politics — and our money — at home, guys.

 

Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or julie.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

 

 

  • Anonymous

    You wrote the same type of article last year when more than 90% of the expenditures were paid to local vendors. what % are you talking about this time?

  • Anonymous

    100.  However, they have to repay those contribution moneys that come in from out of town – see today’s article on that subject.

  • Anonymous

    You pay at least 7% STATE sales tax no matter where you are in Mississippi. $50,000 x 7% = $3,500. So what small percentage of $3,500 would the City of Natchez get? Anyone know?
     
    I personally expect Candidates to apply quality, low cost spending with their campaign money and hope they continue that philosophy once elected to office when they’re using MY money. 

  • Anonymous

    One reason the internet companies are cheaper as stated in the article, they don’t collect sales tax, thus MS gets none anywhere.

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me the most important point Mrs. Cooper made was that our local merchants, who probably voted for some of those who spent their money elsewhere, could have benefited from the monies spent outside of Natchez/Adams County. 

  • Anonymous

    So what’s any different about this than people shopping outside of Natchez? Buying on Ebay? Buying at auctions? You’re not up in the air about that? I’ve said for years….” I will not trade with anyone who doesn’t trade locally”/… you know who that entails? Car dealers, Drs., Lawyers, grocers, etc. Anyone that is in business, THAT’S WHO I EXPECT TO SHOP LOCALLY. You will NEVER get these bored housewives (who are married to drs., lawyers, etc.) to shop locally. They think it’s GREAT  to buy in Jackson, B.R. and New Orleans. If everyone would stop patronizing their husbands, it would change. So let’s just be fair about this article Julie. Don’t just blame the politicians; it’s A LOT OF FOLKS SPENDING NEEDLESSLY OUTSIDE OF NATCHEZ. And the very ones who cry “OH, why did they go out of business”????? Those are the ones I want to slap.

  • Anonymous

    If I was betting on the subject, the very one that the paper is rooting for spent his majority out of town. His wife shops out of town too.  

  • Anonymous

    Face it, there is not much in Natchez.  It is a treat to drive out of Natchez to civilization.  It is nice to get good customer service which is hard to find in Natchez.  It is a crying shame the community college has to offer customer service classes.  I am so glad I moved away from Natchez!!!!!!