Durant urges shoppers to spend locally - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Durant urges shoppers to spend locally

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Durant Main Street sign. (KTEN) Durant Main Street sign. (KTEN)

DURANT, Okla. -- With Christmas shopping in full swing, the city of Durant has come up with a new campaign, to keep shopping local.  It's called "Keep your Green on This Side of the Red," in an effort to remind residents going shopping on the north side of the Red River will benefit your pocketbook.

"If you can keep your dollars locally here in Durant, it helps everybody involved," said City Manager Tim Rundel,

He noted that Oklahoma is the only state that does not collect property tax for cities. That means sales tax is Oklahoma towns' main source of revenue.

Mayor Jerry Tomlinson said there a fight to keep shoppers from crossing the Red River. "Border towns such as Durant that border some of those states are in a more competitive market for the retail sales that generate sales tax revenue," he said.

Some shoppers have told Rundel that lower sales tax in states like Texas mean more savings.

"I've had various conversations with people on the differences between our Walmart and the Denison Walmart and Sherman Walmart, so I decided to find out what the difference is myself," the city manager said. 

He purchased the same goods from each store, factoring in the sales tax and gas expense. Turns out, there was not much of a price difference nor a difference in the percent of sales tax saved. Plus, the drive is about 54 miles round-trip.

"That is wear and tear on your car," Rundel said. "If you actually look at the prices, it's very close to the same."

Other shoppers chimed in, and said they prefer to shop in Durant rather than make a long trip. 

"Absolutely Durant, to keep our revenue here... to keep our funds here," one said.

The sales tax helps fund local police, the library, parks, and roads.  

"You can drive on our streets and find out why there's incentive to shop here," another shopper said.

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