All the Ways Retail's Decline Could Hurt American Towns

All the Ways Retail's Decline Could Hurt American Towns

The closures of brick-and-mortar stores are causing towns in the U.S. to miss out on sales, income, and property taxes that local governments rely on for revenue.

Key findings

“The reasons for the decline of malls are multifold: People are buying more things online, developers built too many malls in the 1980s and 1990s, and consumers are now spending more on services and less on material goods.”

“Nationwide, sales taxes comprise nearly one-third of the taxes that state governments collect and about 12 percent of what local governments collect.”

“The decline of brick-and-mortar retail creates social challenges in addition to financial ones. When people aren’t going to stores to shop, and are instead shopping online, the vibrancy of local communities that once depended on foot traffic fades.”

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