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Dollar General opens in Clarified

Dollar General officially opened its newest location in the mountainous area of Clairfield, Tennessee March 4th, 2021.

Until recently everyone living in the Clairfield area of Claiborne County had to travel outside of their community to get many of the items they would need for daily life. With the exception of a small locally ran country store that offered some everyday items food items, everyone had to travel to either Jellico, LaFollette, or Middlesboro, Kentucky to grocery shop or go to Walmart.

After today’s grand opening many of those trips will no longer be necessary for a great number of Clairfield area residents.

“This is absolutely huge for the Clairfield community,” said County Mayor Joe Brooks “It is the first new retail business opportunity for this area for many years.” Not only is this going to give the residents of Clairfield the opportunity to buy more food items, household items, cleaning products, over-the-counter medicines, and many other items locally, the opening of this Dollar General location has created 10 jobs.

After the last coal mining operation in Claiborne County, and the state, closed its doors last month terminating some 90 jobs this retail opportunity gives a great spark of hope to many.

Mayor Brooks highlighted the efforts his office made to find a location for the store by working with the developers, Dollar General and the community to find a suitable piece of property for the location.  This is not just a retail opportunity or job opportunity it is also going to generate a great deal of revenue.

District Manager Matt Shoemaker said, “Dollar General is projecting the store to generate around $1.12M in annual sales but I think this number will actually come in around $1.5M or higher as we are seeing daily sales during the soft opening already reaching between $8,000 and $9,000.”

“With the current sales tax rate at 9.25% if those sales numbers were true this location would be generating an additional $138,750.00 in sales tax revenue.”

When looking at those numbers Mayor Brooks said, “Claiborne County would only receive the local sales tax option directly, which is currently set at 2.25%. So, Claiborne County would be netting an additional $33,750.00 if those higher sales projections can be achieved at this location.”

By state statute the local sales tax option is to be divided with 50 percent going to the county schools and the other 50 percent going to the point of sale.

Unfortunately, since Clairfield is unincorporated the point of sale portion would be deposited in the county’s general fund.

Brooks added, “Due to Clairfield’s unincorporated status very little has come back to Clairfield directly with regards to the tax revenue generated in this area, specifically from the coal severance tax but moving forward I am committed to ensuring Clairfield receives its fair share. To that end, I will be monitoring the annual sales for this location to determine the amount of local option sales tax Clairfield would be receiving if it were incorporated.”

Brooks continued, “Claiborne County would then make an additional charitable contribution to the Clairfield area non-profits that would equal what its local sales tax option would be if it were incorporated. This extra money would benefit its volunteer fire department, local water utility, as well as its community centers. By committing this money back into the community this could be a win-win-win for Clairfield with regards to retail opportunity, jobs and revenue.”

By ALLEN EARL

allen.earl@claiborneprogress.net