On Tuesday, April 25, the Town of Jones will have another joint meeting between the Board of Trustees and the Planning Commission. One of the major items under consideration is a proposal for a new Dollar Tree. The new store would be located on the East side of Hiwassee Road, just South of Fitness Unlimited.
The Town is being asked to sign a letter acknowledging the purchase of the property by JTS Investments, LLC and their intent to attract Dollar Tree as a retailer. The other item of business relating to the Dollar Tree proposal is a Restated Easement Agreement that would allow the Police and Fire Departments to access to the property.
This area was originally purchased in 2018 by Sentinel Property Preservation, LLC with the purpose of bringing a gym into the town. After the gym was opened, the property owner, Todd Thomas, has worked to develop the rest of the site. After the gym opened, the property was split into nine different lots (including the gym on the northeast section). Three parcels on the south side sold to local owners, and future plans for those locations have not been proposed. The remaining five lots were later developed, with water and sewer lines being added at the developer’s expense. This was critical to attract other businesses to the site. Currently under construction is a veterinary clinic in the northwest parcel.
Data from the Oklahoma Tax Commission shows that Jones is lagging behind other peer communities in Eastern Oklahoma County in regards to retail sales tax collections. Comparing Jones to Harrah and Luther in the category of “Other General Merchandise Stores”, the data shows Jones has the highest sales tax rate, yet the lowest monthly and year-to-date retail collections. The estimated total retail sales shows Jones is $1 million behind Luther, and $5 million behind Harrah for the year.
A new Dollar Tree Store in the Jones Community would not only increase the convenience and accessibility of shopping for Jones residents, but it would also benefit the Town’s retail sales tax base. In the State of Oklahoma, municipalities are restricted to using only Sales and Use tax collections to fund day-to-day operations. Services like Police and Fire protection are funded directly from Sales Tax in Jones. In July of 2021, residents of Jones also approved a one penny sales tax to help fund water and wastewater improvements.