On the Mayor's mind: practical reasons for Shopping Shoreline

Sunday, July 27, 2014

On the Mayor's Mind
July 28, 2014
By Shoreline Mayor Shari Winstead

Last week the Shoreline Area News shared an article from the Seattle Times, about one of our local restaurants, Grinders. (see article here)

The focus of the article was the difficulties businesses in the Aurora construction zone encounter. 

On June 14, I wrote an article about the importance of patronizing our Shoreline Aurora Avenue restaurants, especially as we enter this last phase of the Aurora Redevelopment project. If you missed it, I hope you will take a moment to read my article

Last week’s article focusing on Grinders got me thinking (again), how can we help people to really understand why it is so important to shop in Shoreline. I believe you can find almost anything you need or want in Shoreline. Sure, it’s nice to go to dinner in Edmonds or shop at Alderwood or downtown Seattle. But make those instances the exception, not the rule. And here’s why.

On every purchase, you pay almost 10% sales tax. Most of that goes to the state, the county, and other government agencies, with only about .85% staying Shoreline. In real numbers, if you spend $200 on taxable items at Costco, $1.70 goes to Shoreline.

What does Shoreline do with that money? Those are the dollars used for filling pot holes, sweeping the streets, funding police officers, and maintaining the parks, just to name a few. (And if you are really interested in where your tax dollars go, join us for the annual City budget process, starting on October 13. (We always hope to have interested citizens attend these meetings, but often the Council chambers are empty.)

I know that $1.70 doesn’t seem like much – but have you ever seen how many people are in Costco on a Saturday – most probably spending more than $200. Very quickly, that $1.70 adds up.

So now you want to know how much some of these services cost, don’t you?

  • To sweep the street in front of your house one time, it costs about $1.85 (that one $200 trip to Costco).  (Street sweeping is important to keep our water clean and help manage debris).
  • For one police officer to spend 30 minutes responding to a call for help, it costs approximately $43.  It takes one resident to spend a little over $5,000 in Shoreline to pay for this time or 50 residents to spend $100 each.  (Ever bought a new car in Shoreline?  We receive a major amount of sales tax revenues from car dealerships.  Embrace them!
  • To maintain one acre of park land it costs approximately $3,700 per year.  One person would need to spend $450,000 to generate $3,700 in sales tax or 4,500 residents spending $100 each in Shoreline.
Basically, if you choose to shop in Edmonds, Lynnwood, or Seattle, you are helping pay for these services – in another city! And that’s okay, sometimes it’s even necessary. Just be aware that you can choose where your tax dollars go- by where you shop.

Besides keeping our sales tax in our City, the extra bonus is that shopping Shoreline also generates local jobs, reduces environmental impacts, and creates (more of) our great community!

I challenge you to shop Shoreline. If you live on the east side, try the North City Bistro and Wine Bar. If you live on the west side, try Streetzeria in Richmond Beach. Shoreline is bigger than just your neighborhood, or even Aurora Avenue. If we want our City to thrive, if we want more and different businesses, we have to show business owners that we will support them. Regardless of if the street happens to be a construction zone for a few months.

 See you somewhere in Shoreline!

Updated 7-28-2014 10:21pm


Anonymous,  July 27, 2014 at 5:37 PM  

Collision tech has also been impacted. They should also be supported.

Anonymous,  July 27, 2014 at 8:01 PM  

I eat at the Denny's across the County Line because the City effectively condemned the Denny's at Aurora Square by 1) blocking it from view with a poorly planned interurban pedestrian bridge, and 2) declaring the entire Aurora Square economically blighted. So now we must suffer regular "buy Shoreline" pep rally speeches from our mayor to contravene normal market forces.

By the way, while "you pay almost 10% sales tax" at most places in Shoreline, you actually pay a full 10% sales tax at Jersey's, who has been charging the higher rate right under the City's nose for years.

Anonymous,  July 28, 2014 at 7:20 AM  

If Shoreline could offer 50% of the excellent shops, atmosphere, and restaurants located in Edmonds, I might change my shopping habits. In the meantime, my money is better spent heading north. And then there's Trader Joes...

Anonymous,  July 28, 2014 at 7:23 AM  

The mayor has her East and West mixed up when recommending Streetzeria and the North City Bistro and Wine Bar. And once we go there a couple times, what's left? That's the problem, we have sooo few options.

Anonymous,  July 28, 2014 at 12:01 PM  

Grinders is one of the few restaurants worth going to in Shoreline and the City is killing it with one of their bone-headed projects. Aurora Phase I resulted in a net loss of sales taxes once you remove the sales taxes paid by government in Phase I (i.e., the sales taxes paid by the City for construction of Aurora), Debbie Tarry stated there was no net loss of sales taxes -- hey, guess what Debbie? There was an overall loss of sales taxes once you remove the sales taxes paid by the construction of Aurora. Aurora Corridor construction kills small business.

City Economic Development Director Dan Eernissee stated at a City Council meeting that Aurora should be built out with multi-family residential and filled with people that shop at Amazon! What? He doesn't believe in shopping local? How are those mixed use venues with the street front retail spaces supposed to fill up and survive if Dan thinks the residents should shop at Amazon?

No wonder most of the re-development in Shoreline consists of existing businesses and non-profits.

Anonymous,  July 28, 2014 at 1:32 PM  

The mayor of Shoreline is spot-on. You shop where you live and you help make your community a better place. Her positive message is straight-forward, plain & simple.

Anonymous,  July 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM  

If the Mayor is serious about shopping in Shoreline, then why has the City Council and staff worked so hard to drive one of the largest retailers out of business - Sears? All they do is trash Sears and propose different ways to repurpose their buildings when there is no retail in operation anymore.


Anonymous,  July 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM  

Ronald Reagan said the nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Anonymous,  July 29, 2014 at 7:10 AM  

If the mayor is "spot on" and I'm supposed to shop locally to support my community, you're asking me to spend my money at inferior grocery stores (compared to Trader Joes) and an anemic assortment of fair to middling restaurants. Love the Crest, but boy, we could sure use an up-to-date movie theater. Love Fred Meyer and the Richmond Beach QFC, but boy, we could sure use nicer, less claustrophobic spaces for these stores. Shoreline does offer an excellent garden store at Sky Nursery and this is one reason not to travel up to Edmonds. Shoreline has outgrown itself and our businesses have not caught up to our community's size and sophistication. The question is: What is causing new businesses to set up shop in Edmonds and avoid Shoreline?

Anonymous,  July 29, 2014 at 1:35 PM  

We have councilmembers and a mayor who work outside the city, and countless staff that live in other cities yet work here. How local is that? And of course they recently declared the entire Aurora Corridor a drug area so they can order the druggies to keep out, spreading the pestilence into the neighborhoods. Apparently our costly infrastructure improvements have produced nothing more than white ties and tails for our rats and needles.

Anonymous,  July 29, 2014 at 9:12 PM  

Guess it's time to pass the hat for Shoreline. Our current council cannot seem to get the job done.

Anonymous,  July 30, 2014 at 6:31 PM  

I closed my business last month. It was in shoreline. So this is funny! I wouldn't open another one here. Not enough foot traffic. Commuters don't get home until six or seven.

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