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    City of Albany urges residents to spend tax rebates at local shops

    By Linda (Linjun) Fan

    The City of Albany started a Recycle Your Rebate campaign recently to boost its stagnant economy, urging residents to spend $100 of their tax rebates in local restaurants and shops.

    Albany’s Administration Office has mailed out a discount card to every household in the city, which can be used to receive discounts from several dozen local businesses.

    “Shopping in Albany is convenient, friendly, and cuts down your gasoline use,” said City Administrator Beth Pollard.

    Pollard said that part of the money spent on local shops will go to the coffers of City Government as sales tax, which accounts for about one sixth of the City’s revenue.

    The City is trying to balance its budget due to projected revenue losses, including an estimated $325,000 drop in sales tax.

    Cafe Raj, an Indian food restaurant on  Solano Avenue, is one of the businesses that have joined the city’s shop locally campaign, offering a 20 per cent discount on all its food items.

    “We want to encourage people to spend a portion of their rebate to support local businesses, ” the restaurant’s owner Rosemarie Eichner-Raja said.

    It’s unclear how many Albany residents are planning to spend their tax rebate on eating out or shopping.

    Rosalva Gutierrez, owner of Albany Hair Salon, said she would spend her taxt rebate on paying bills, although she hopes people spend some of their tax rebate in her shop.

    “I hope not everybody thinks like me,” she said.

    Click here for a list of local businesses offering discounts.  

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