Mexican sales tax hike outrages residents

On the Border

Mexican sales tax hike outrages residents

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Source: NPR Source: NPR

YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – A five percent sales tax increase in San Luis, Rio Colorado, has residents on the Mexico side outraged.

Residents are staging protests to block the Port of Entry Lanes for traffic driving into Mexico.

Its double-edged sword.

Paying more in sales taxes in Mexico could drive more residents there to come across the border to shop. However, staging protests to block traffic could make it harder for residents to cross back into Mexico, deterring them from coming across altogether.

13 On Your Side spoke to Ana Flores, who lives in San Luis, Rio Colorado.

Normally, the cost of living on the U.S. side of the border is more expensive, but Flores tells us that right now it is actually cheaper for her to come across the border and buy her groceries in Arizona.

That's because a new sales tax is being imposed in Mexico has made it too expensive to shop there.

"We can't afford it now," said Flores. "We'll come over to this side."

The sales tax in San Luis, Rio Colorado, has gone up form 11 percent to 16 percent.

For residents, that means they'll pay an additional 80 cents for every $5.00 spent.

That's about $0.30 more than what one would pay in the U.S.

"As far as the economy, it makes it harder for those that are living over there," she said.

To show their disapproval of the tax, residents in San Luis Rio Colorado are staging several protests this week by blocking traffic crossing into Mexico.

"They're closing down the line to get the attention of the government over there," Flores explained.

But blocking the line does more damage to those on the U.S. side, who will have to wait in a line that already stretches for miles on a normal day.

San Luis City Spokesman Javier Morales says there is not much they can do, but to patrol the streets to control traffic as much as possible.

"We have limited resources but we are communicating with all our departments to control the traffic problem" Morales said.

Flores says the increased sales tax will only hurt the economy because residents will be forced to travel to San Luis, Ariz., to do their shopping—which could mean a loss of thousands of dollars for San Luis, Rio Colorado.

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