Saturday, August 06, 2005

This is Bandit Darville smokin'

From the Fairmont Sentinel:

ARMSTRONG -- Minnesota residents are driving to Iowa cities, such as Armstrong, to buy cheaper cigarettes.

Minnesota's sharp cigarette tax increase, which went into effect this week, has driven many area smokers to Armstrong, Iowa, for cheaper cigarettes, according to two store managers

On Monday, Minnesota's new Health Impact Fee went into effect on cigarettes. The fee is an additional tax of 75 cents per cigarette pack. That increases the tax on a carton of 10 packs of cigarettes to $7.50.

The tax was approved in July in a special legislative session by the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Tim Pawlenty. It was passed to create state revenue estimated at more than $400 million, to reach a legislative settlement on the state's two-year budget package.

"This week we have definitely seen an increase in cigarette sales," said Lois Williams, manager of the Kum & Go convenience store in Armstrong. "We will be ordering more cigarettes to keep up with our Minnesota customers buying them. Now, Minnesota customers tend to buy cigarettes by the carton, instead of by the pack.

"I was anticipating an increase in cigarette sales for our store with the higher Minnesota cigarette sales tax, but the sales amount this week was more than I expected," she said. "We've had Minnesota customers complaining about the much higher cigarette sales tax.

"The bigger cigarette sales are good for our business," Williams said. "More customers may help with our gas sales, too. Our Minnesota customers can keep coming down."

Kay Naig, manager of Hi-Way Grocery in Armstrong, said she also has seen an increase in cigarette sales this week at that store. She attributes the increase to more Minnesotans buying cigarettes there.

Customers from Minnesota are often buying cartons of cigarettes, she noted.

Going across state it just me, or do images of Smokey and the Bandit pop into your head?


At 3:56 PM, Blogger funkysmell said...

nice pics!


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