EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 30, 2013

Tax hikes drive Bay State shoppers north


“I don’t think it’s fair,” said said.

The owner of the First Store in New Hampshire, across busy Route 28 in Salem, said more customers are coming in because of the tax increases.

“People like cheaper,” Bob Patel said.

At Discount Stateline next door, owner Kamal Patel, who is no relation, said even though the tax on cigarettes also went up in New Hampshire, shoppers know there’s a savings for them in the Granite State.

“Massachusetts people are going to buy more cigarettes from New Hampshire,” he said.

Cheaper cigarettes bring Haverhill resident Delis Alexandra across the state line, too.

“What are we going to do?” Alexandra said as she shopped at Foods Plus Discount in Plaistow. “You want the key to my safebox? Let’s spare ourselves the middle people and the paperwork.”

Alexandra said she comes to New Hampshire for the tax savings.

She estimates she saves $240 a year on cigarette purchases in New Hampshire because of the tax difference.

“That’s a lot,” she said.

Katie Murphy of Hampstead, also shopping at Foods Plus, said her Massachusetts friends have shopping plans that don’t include their home state.

“They say they’re going to see me in New Hampshire,” Murphy said.

Jeff Garvey of Haverhill said he comes to New Hampshire to shop every day to save on taxes.

“I just don’t know what it’s going for,” Garvey said of his taxes back home in Massachusetts.

While Foods Plus owner Norm Dalphond feels their pain, it works to his advantage.

“It’s unfortunate they have to go up at all,” Dalphond said. “We’ve been hearing about this the last two weeks. Their reaction was they are coming here.”

For businesses in New Hampshire, this is a good thing.

“We think it’s great,” Dalphond said.

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