By Rachel Wulff

FOLSOM (CBS13) – The city of Folsom is crunching its numbers and raising a red flag – hoping customers hear their concerns: Shopping in-store versus online means more than ever for the community.

If you need a blown glass burrito or any particular food item for your Christmas tree, Dorothea’s on Sutter Street has it – from the wacky to the whimsical.

Jim Metzker has been welcoming customers in for 55 years for whatever is on their Christmas wish list. This year, times are tough.

“We were shut down for two-and-a-half months, so that was part of it. And people are just afraid to get out,” he said.

Metzker’s wish during the pandemic is that customers come to his store instead of shopping online.

“They think, ‘Let’s buy online. It will be easier and cheaper and that’s all fine.’ But at the end of the day there is a huge impact to the city,” he said.

Folsom Mayor Mike Kozlowski said the city is projecting to be down more than a million in sales tax revenue for 2020.

Here’s why. Let’s say Folsom sales tax is 10 percent. For every $100 you spend at a Folsom business, the city gets one dollar in sales tax revenue. But when you buy something at that same business online it goes to Sacramento County and is chopped up and redistributed. In that case, the city of Folsom only gets 10 cents.

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The county said that change is due to Assembly Bill 147, which took effect in 2019 and was designed to modernize the way sales tax is collected in an online world. The law also allows Folsom to receive the same ten cents from every online sale in other cities countywide.

The idea is the additional revenue from other cities will equal what the city was originally earning. But Mayor Kozlowski said this year is already down when internet sales are up due to the shutdown – and that’s alarming.

“The math works out the same whether you’re in Rancho Cordova or any of the unincorporated parts of the county,” said Kozlowski.

Curbside service and delivery aren’t enough, and closing outdoor dining is shutting the door on holiday sales for downtown retailers who rely on foot traffic. Metzker hopes that trend doesn’t continue into 2021.

“At the end of the day, they are going to have to start furloughing people if they don’t have enough money, which is going to decrease our firefighters, decrease our police,” he said. “It’s going to decrease all of our city services that people are accustomed to taking advantage of.”