Where do you shop?

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

By Mary Beth Magee

When we go out of state for our purchases, we deprive Mississippi of much needed sales tax revenue, which means we deprive our libraries, our schools, our roads and other needed programs of funding.

Maybe it’s habit, maybe it’s perceived convenience to cross the state line, but every dollar we spend in a neighboring state puts your sales tax money in the pockets of a place that doesn’t give you services in return.

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The state legislature has cut library funding for the past several years and plans to cut it again for 2019. You, as a Mississippi citizen can help.

First, contact your state legislators and tell them how important libraries are in your community. Ask them to look for ways to avoid cutting the funding any deeper and maybe even find a way to restore some of the previous cuts. Make your voice known.

Second, do your shopping in Mississippi. Spend your money at home, where you receive the services you need. Support your local merchants and local services. In doing so, you help provide the funds needed to run the services of the state.

Third, get a library card, if you don’t have one.

You might be surprised to discover the variety of materials and classes available through the library, and that little card is the key to them.

Fourth, join the Friends of the Library in your community. Both the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Public Library in Picayune and the Poplarville Public Library have chapters, and the groups help the libraries in many ways. You can be a part of the solution.

Why pay higher sales tax and get nothing in return for it? If we don’t have what you need here in Pearl River County, you’ll be able to find it on the Coast or in Hattiesburg. Keep your tax dollars at home and help Mississippi pay for the services you want.