City amendment makes it easier to “buy local”

In an effort to keep its dollars close to home, the Enumclaw City Council proposed local legislation that would increase the city’s ability to “shop local.”

In an effort to keep its dollars close to home, the Enumclaw City Council proposed local legislation that would increase the city’s ability to “shop local.”

Government entities are generally bound by state law to seek out the best deal when spending taxpayers’ money, and that often means making purchases in other communities, even when similar items are available locally.

However, state law also allows cities to consider sales tax ramifications when making purchases. If goods are bought locally, the sales tax stays in the community, providing a financial benefit for the town.

The proposal that went before the council Monday night specifies that when it comes to purchases of less than $30,000, “preference shall be given to any local vendor’s quoted price within 10 percent or $200, whichever is less, of the lowest quote received.”

City Administrator Mark Bauer said the buy-local effort sprang from the recent city-sponsored business summit and the complaint that the city did not always look first to its area merchants when making purchases.

“We feel strongly that the city should buy local when we can,” Bauer said.

For purposes of this policy amendment, “local” is described as any business with an address in the 98022 ZIP code.

Reach Kevin Hanson at khanson@courierherald.com or 360-802-8205.

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