The contest, called iShop Tracy, will award an iPad to the person who spends the most money on a single item, including vehicle purchases, and an iPad Mini to the person who presents the most individual sales receipts. All submitted receipts must be collected by the participant, governed by the honor system.
“It can be anything — groceries, coffee, any form of spending in the Tracy community,” said chamber President Sophia Valenzuela.
According to West Valley Mall manager Mike Donaghy, who supported the original idea of the contest, one of the reasons the contest was created was the recent opening of Paragon Outlets Livermore about 25 miles west of Tracy.
The concern among the local business community was that more people might shop outside the city this holiday season, he said.
“I initially made contact with the city at the end of October to see if we could start something like this,” Donaghy said. “There’s a lot of competition over the hill with the factory outlets, and we should do something to counteract that. Think local, shop local. Tax dollars do us a lot more good if spent in town as opposed to leaving town.”
Tracy collects a certain percentage of sales tax on items and services purchased within city limits. According to Tracy Finance Director Zane Johnston, the city gets 1.5 cents per dollar of the sales tax.
Tracy City Center Association President Dino Margaros, whose group promotes downtown merchants, said the contest should be a boost. He said Tracy’s mall, outlet mall and local business community joined the iShop Tracy promotion, because they were all “competing with other cities” for consumer spending.
Margaros said shoppers need to understand that the added tax revenue their local shopping creates helps pay for city services such as public safety and the upkeep of local roads.
“It’s a promotion to remind people that every dollar spent here in taxes stays here,” Margaros said.
The contest runs from Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, and entry forms can be obtained at the chamber website, www.tracy
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