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You’re A&P Tax: What’s it for? How it works, who benefits, how to get some of it!
Annual Freedomfest celebration draws thousands to town with the help of the A & P Tax – a great example of how your A & P tax dollars should be spent.

You’re A&P Tax: What’s it for? How it works, who benefits, how to get some of it!

Back in 2007, the City Council passed an ordinance levying an “Advertising and Promotion Tax” and creating an A&P Commission to collect, report and oversee the spending of the A&P monies.

It was not my idea. I did not vote on it. The City Council did. Two of those in favor of it are still on the City Council and so are the two who were against any tax passed by a council and not by the voters. Both Tim Terry and Lance Terry said publicly that they didn’t mind the A&P idea, but, councils don’t pass taxes, people do. Put it to a vote. Good point.

I will admit that I was in favor of the tax-still am-and I appreciate the willingness to serve exhibited by the Commissioners. I am proud of each and every event that gets A&P money. Those events and programs build a better Greenwood and that has become a career of mine too.

Application must be made to the commission for funds. Most A&P fund recipients are required to submit invoices and spend the money on promoting (at least in part) the event that would otherwise not be promoted due to lack of funds.

I have recently voiced some concerns over the tax. My concerns center on one aspect of the spending and one only. Let’s not forget that “Advertising and Promotion” means that a significant portion of the funds should be used to “advertise and promote.” Here’s the point that should not be forgotten: we ask local restaurants to collect, account for, report and send city hall a portion of their income to promote activities in Greenwood. In exchange for this burden, the activities getting the funds are supposed to draw more people to Greenwood to spend more money in the restaurants…a sort of payback for their work and their contributions.

When the tax passed, did restaurants raise their prices a nickel for every $5.00 meal they serve? Probably not. They just take it out of their income. “But that’s ok” we said, there will be more $5.00 meals sold because we’re going to draw all of these people to town to buy more $5.00 meals from you. Do we draw more people to town with these events? Is it worth it to the restaurants? Is business growing? Or, are we just taking money out of the pockets of restaurant owners to fund events, programs and activities? What’s the money being spent on? Are all the events drawing people (spenders) to town? If not, they shouldn’t get A & P money. By law, tax dollars can’t go to charity, so are the activities building a better Greenwood business climate?

It is my position and always has been that the tax should be used not just to put on nice events that make for a good life in Greenwood, BUT, to “advertise and promote” those events with the “Advertising and Promotion Tax money” so that more and more people will know about the events, so that more and more people will attend, so that more and more money will be spent in restaurants, so that more and more A&P money will be collected to advertise and promote more and more events.

Just getting the money to have the event or make the improvement defeats the purpose if the event or improvement is not promoted. And for goodness sake, don’t just advertise in local newspapers. Local newspapers already report the events as news…for free!  Spend that money out there in other cities, on radio/TV and billboards that are read by more than just Greenwood people going back and forth to work. They already know about these events because it’s already been reported extensively in the Greenwood press.

Restaurateurs in our community report and forward a tax on to the Commission in hopes that it will grow business by promoting the events and draw spenders to town. We owe it to those who collect the tax to grow the business community.  Freedomfest is the best example of how it is supposed to work. It draws thousands to town to spend money. One pizza eatery actually ran out of dough one year because of the crowds. Now that is how it is supposed to work and that builds a better Greenwood.

 

PSG Pharmacy
PSG Pharmacy