Ah, Taxachusetts. Beginning yesterday, August 1st, sales tax rose from 5% (I think it's been that all my life) to 6.25%. Great timing, when we have a record unemployment rate and recession going.
Fortunately for me, I live very close to the NH border. There is no sales tax in NH. On anything. In MA, food and clothing are exempt, but everything else is fair game. Also starting yesterday, sales tax was imposed on alcohol sales, which already have an excise tax. So that's double-taxed.
It's a sad time for my local businesses. I've been laid off and haven't managed to score a single interview, so I'm pinching pennies. I'm driving to NH to buy all my taxable items, and - to save gas - I may end up doing the grocery and clothing shopping there since, well, I'm already there. In the right-hand column of this blog you will see a running total kept: of tax money I saved by purchasing tax-free in NH, of the total of non-taxable items I bought there because it was easier (I was, after all, already there) and the sum total of money taken away from MA businesses because I went up north.
I feel sorry for businesses along the NH border, I really do. And I will try to do food shopping here for sure, but if I'm out and it's easier, I'll do it in NH. Save some gas money.
This should be interesting. I'll send the figures along to Governor Patrick after a few months, and also to my local newspaper. It won't be devastatingly high; I'm a single mom with one ten year-old son, and I'm frugal at that - but I'll bet MA businesses will wish they had my money. I'm just a representative; I'm hardly the only one along the border doing this.