Comptroller Urges Marylanders To Shop Local For The Holidays

He says this keep the money circulating in the community.


Frederick, Md (KM) State Comptroller Peter Franchot has joined with the Maryland Retailers Association in encouraging residents to do the bulk of their Holiday shopping at their local merchants. He says making purchases at retailers in your community keeps them in business for years to come. “Yes, you can always shop a little bit on the internet,” he says. “But if you could, spend most of your money, please, in these bricks and mortar stores. It will really help them make the margin that they need to be in business all next year.”

He also says shopping locally keeps the money you spend in your community. “When you spend $50 in a local store on main street of your town out here in western Maryland–whatever the town might be; Hagerstown, Frederick, or Cumberland, or some of the smaller communities–that money stays local,” he says. “When you spend $50 buying something from Amazon, that money goes out to California and we never see it again.”

Franchot was in western Maryland last week visiting local merchants and making purchases. One of the places he shopped was La Niche Boutique in Frederick.

Ordering gifts for the Holidays from Amazon or other on line retailers is convenient. Customers don’t have to deal with crowded malls, and looking for places to park; and the product is delivered to their home. But Franchot says now customers who order on line have to pay Maryland’s sales tax. . “The 6% sales tax in Maryland now applies to out-of-state internet sales. You don’t get the same tax-free treatment that you have in years past.”

The US Supreme Court came down with a ruling that said statesĀ  can collect sales tax on purchases from out-of-state retailers. Franchot says Maryland has required these merchants to remit the 6% sales tax since October. 1st.

Even though he’s encouraging customers to purchase most of their Holiday gifts at local merchants, Franchot says you don’t have to stop buying products on the internet. “I’m not suggesting you never shop on the internet. I do. My wife does. Everybody does at some point. What I’m talking about is doing the bulk of your shopping locally during this Holiday season. And I think people are responding to that,” he says.

The National Retail Federation is projecting an increase of 4.1% in consumer spending this Holiday shopping season.


By Kevin McManus