Boston Globe Lectures Massachusetts Rubes For Shopping In Tax Free New Hampshire

In this snide editorial, the Boston Globe looks down its nose at the misguided, unenlightened Massachusetts citizens who cross the border to take advantage of tax free shopping.

While it’s not surprising to hear of Massachusetts consumers buying TVs and other big-ticket taxable items in New Hampshire, a Methuen resident told a reporter that she also buys her groceries north of the border. Meanwhile, one South Boston resident said that “I just went up there [to New Hampshire] to buy a pair of running shoes last week because I just wasn’t willing to pay the taxes.’’ But wait a minute. The first $175 of the price of clothing items, including running shoes, is tax-free in Massachusetts. So are grocery items.

WRONG.  Not all grocery items are tax free.  If you can’t eat it, it’s not tax free.  Cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, paper products, soda (deposit), floral items etc. are all taxable.  So that Methuen resident is actually saving a bundle when she buys her groceries in New Hampshire.  And some sneakers do cost more than $175 so perhaps this Southie resident was splurging.  

And don’t you silly rubes know that some New Hampshire towns have higher property taxes than yours? 

Many New Hampshire towns have higher property taxes than their Massachusetts counterparts; others skimp on municipal services. In Massachusetts, the sales tax hike prevented deeper cuts to vital human services and to public schools that are, by many measures, the nation’s best.

I wonder if they were promised lower property taxes by their governor only to see them increase every year since he took office?

Finally, you ungrateful bumpkins should be thankful that there isn’t a tax on food or clothing.

At least Massachusetts has exempted the necessities of life from the sales tax. Political statements aside, there is no financial reason to burn the gasoline and time necessary to buy them elsewhere.

Not only are you misguided, but you are killing the polar bears while shopping tax-free. 

This illustrates perfectly the disconnect between the bow-tie wearing, chardonnay sipping Globe editorial board and those of us who are struggling to make ends meet and find the recent 25% increase in the sales tax so odious or so burdensome that we are willing to drive north to save money – even if it is only a few dollars.  It is lectures such as this that make people more apt to get in the cars and leave Massachusetts retailers in their dust.