Why is “Sales Tax” important to Jones? Because it is the primary source of revenue for the General Fund.
Oklahoma is the only state in the Union where municipalities receive absolutely NO property/ad volrem taxes. In Oklahoma County these taxes go to the county, schools, and libraries. Jones, as well as every other municipality in Oklahoma, survives on sales tax. That is why it is so important to “shop local”. I realize that shopping local isn’t always an option. Not having a grocery store forces us to travel to Choctaw, Midwest City, Edmond, and OKC for the basic necessities of life. This is what we, in the municipal business, call “Lost sales tax.”
Let’s compare Jones Sales Tax with Choctaw’s. In Fiscal Year 2013 Jones annual collection was $519,118.00, in FY 17 it was $765,670.00 representing a 47% increase. Choctaw, FY 13 was $2.6mil, in FY 17 $6.3 mil. representing a 142% increase. Choctaw’s TRIPLED! Why? Walmart and every thing that followed them. Choctaw Walmart opened in July 2014 and I, along with a large number of Jones citizens, started shopping there. That’s “lost sales tax revenue” for Jones. Now, I am NOT saying we need a Walmart in Jones, but that kind of revenue stream would be awesome!
Throughout it’s history, Jones has relied on the “Mom & Pop” type business’s. They have come and gone, but the constants are the Jones Drug Store 50+ yrs, Jones Lumber Yard 60+ yrs, Johnny Pat’s 40+ yrs (originally D&M’s), Shuff’s Main Street Grill 55 yrs (originally The Malt Shop opened in 1964), Roosters 40 + yrs (used to be The Longhorn), the Well House 40+ (used to be Mildred’s among others), and Sak-n-Go. Fairly new to town (past 15 years) is Jones Offroad, Dollar General, and Jorge’s! There’s been many, many more that I can’t begin to name the ones that have gone on. The point is, Jones has always been a town that has survived on small business and we always will. Because of our location (not being on a State Highway) the national chains/big box stores aren’t interested in us, and I’m OK with that. I do, however, wish we would/could support a few more “Mom & Pop’s.” Maybe someday!