Sales tax increases in Mexican border cities - Tucson News Now

Sales tax increases in Mexican border cities

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NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

For decades, Mexico has cut border cities a tax break. Instead of paying the national sales tax rate of 16 percent, border communities like Nogales, Sonora paid 11%.

That ended as of today.

As part of economic reforms, the Mexican government voted to make all sales taxes across the county uniform.

That has not been welcomed in border cities on the Mexican side.

But on the US side, there is a different attitude.

Many merchants believe it will make Nogales shopping even more attractive.

Bruce Bracker, of Bracker's Department stores, believes it "will encourage more people to shop in Nogales, Arizona."

He says up to 80% of his customers come from the Mexican side and the "number could increase."

But he adds for Brackers part of the reason for optimism is his store, which has been in Nogales since 1924, has built up "good relationships" with Mexican customers who come back to shop.

George Miranda, who sold his business in Nogales, Sonora believes the sale tax hike will not be good for his community.

"Prices are already cheaper over here," he says, while shopping in Arizona.

People come here to buy "rosaries, meals, eggs, it's cheaper back here," he adds.

Others. like Visit Tucson, have been using social media to encourage people to cross the border to shop.

A U of A study shows nearly 50% of the shopping in Nogales, Arizona comes from across the border.

Some of the Tucson malls say 10 to 30% of their Christmas shopping comes from Mexico.

And Homeland Security is making it easier to cross the border both ways.

What was once an hour wait, can now be done in 15 minutes or less.

"They do a good job" getting people back and forth these says Bracker.

And all of that adds up. one small retailer said, to a possible mini economic boom for Nogales.

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