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Lebanon Christmas lights get shoppers in mood
Nov 24, 2012 4:50 pm
Lebanon has been decking the halls with Christmas lights on many city streets for years. Anecdotal testimony suggests seeing the lights puts people in a Christmas mood and ready to shop.
That shopping increases the city's sales tax revenues, but it's hard to tell if the subliminal message of the lights is contributing to the uptick in sales tax revenue verses the increased cost of the electricity to power the lights.
Lebanon Commissioner of Finance Russell Lee said the exact extent of sales increase is hard to determine until months after the fact.
"Our sales tax receipts for December won't we tallied by the state until February," he said. "But normally it's our highest receipt total of the year.
He said since the city has been using the decorative lights for years, it's hard to know their impact.
"To know how much effect they have, they would have to be something new," Lee said.
He added since the city has meters all over the city that have varying electric bills each month, it's impossible to determine just how much the lights are contributing to the overall bill.
At any rate, Lee said seeing the lights puts him in a Christmas mood.
"I noticed the lights just the other day, and I've been here for years," he said. "They did make me think of shopping."
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 45 or firstname.lastname@example.org.