Mexican sales tax hike could mean longer lines to cross border

Imperial Valley

Mexican sales tax hike could mean longer lines to cross border

Posted: Updated:

CALEXICO, CALIF. (13 On Your Side) - You would think a sales tax hike in Mexico would prompt a surge of residents there to cross into California to do all of their shopping - spending even more money on this side of the border. But long lines at the port of entry might be a problem.

Long lines at the Calexico port of entry are an every day fact of life for travelers. And now, with a projected increase in people coming here to shop, California's governor is asking the feds to make some big changes.

California has an advantage over Mexico when it comes to groceries. Food products here are not taxed and that could be a major incentive for Mexicali shoppers.

But now that a sales tax increase in Mexicali and other border towns went into effect from 11% to 16% - Eduardo Lopez, who owns a grocery store on this side of the border - is hoping his business will see more shoppers spending more money.

"Being on first street, 100 feet from the border, 90% of my customers are from Mexicali."

But according to Lopez, Mexican officials are using the long wait times at the ports of entry to convince shoppers to stay home and spend their money in Mexico.

"They're getting contrary advertising saying 'long wait times - its not worth it.' So, its kind of a give and take but hopefully we'll benefit," says Lopez.

Despite an opportunity for U.S. business owners, like Lopez, to profit - Imperial County supervisor John Renison agrees - longer wait times could deter people from coming across.

"Right now you have an hour and a half, two hour backups anyway. Well, with an outdated port of entry, with not enough lanes - inspectors, we have plenty - but we don't have the capacity."

That's why California Governor Jerry Brown recently asked Washington to approve a $350,000,000 grant to fund the expansion of the Calexico port of entry.

Renison says the Governor's request spells out an increased awareness of the bottlenecks along the border - but now it's up to the feds to approve the grant.

"It is in our best interest - for economic reasons - other reasons, and humanitarian reasons and good relation reasons to fund the Calexico port of entry," says Renison.

Meanwhile, Lopez says only time will tell how well his business, and others, will profit. He says they'll find out the impact by next month.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Storm hits Yuma, Phoenix could be next

    Storm hits Yuma, Phoenix could be next

    More than 1,600 households lost power in Yuma late Thursday afternoon.More >>
    More than 1,600 households lost power in Yuma late Thursday afternoon.More >>
  • Woman who lost power arrested in generator theft

    Woman who lost power arrested in generator theft

    Deputies in Mohave County say a Kingman woman whose electricity had been turned off has been arrested after a stolen generator and other items taken from a neighbor were found in yard.More >>
    Deputies in Mohave County say a Kingman woman whose electricity had been turned off has been arrested after a stolen generator and other items taken from a neighbor were found in yard.More >>
  • Doug Ducey, Scott Smith lead Arizona governor race

    Doug Ducey, Scott Smith lead Arizona governor race

    Arizona's six-way Republican governor's primary is widely seen as a contest between Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey.More >>
    Arizona's six-way Republican governor's primary is widely seen as a contest between Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey.More >>
  • Oregon gunman planned to kill 'bunch' of people

    Oregon gunman planned to kill 'bunch' of people

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:15 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:15:29 GMT
    A gunman who fatally shot his father and then a man camping at an Oregon beach earlier this week left behind notes that said he was mentally ill and planned to "kill a bunch of other people" and then himself.More >>
    A gunman who fatally shot his father and then a man camping at an Oregon beach earlier this week left behind notes that said he was mentally ill and planned to "kill a bunch of other people" and then himself.More >>
  • Drug tunnel found in Mexicali

    Drug tunnel found in Mexicali

    Mexicali--Mexican police found a partially constructed drug tunnel near the U.S. border in Mexicali. Police said the tunnel was presumably being built by drug traffickers. Mexicali's police chief saidMore >>
    Mexican police found a partially constructed drug tunnel near the U.S. border in Mexicali. More >>
  • Possible drowning

    Possible drowning

    On Sunday the Blythe Police Department received a call regarding a missing 10 year old boy in the vicinity of the Colorado river and the Interstate 10 bridge. The call came out shortly after two in the afternoon when his parents lost sight of him as he swam in the river. The Blythe Boat Patrol searched the river and even called inn CHP and Care Flight Helicopters for aerial support. The search went on until night fall and it was the called off. The child was not found; and is believed that he...More >>
    On Sunday the Blythe Police Department received a call regarding a missing 10 year old boy in the vicinity of the Colorado river and the Interstate 10 bridge. The call came out shortly after two in the afternoon when his parents lost sight of him as he swam in the river. The Blythe Boat Patrol searched the river and even called inn CHP and Care Flight Helicopters for aerial support. The search went on until night fall and it was the called off. The child was not found; and is believed that he...More >>
  • Advertise with KSWT

    Advertise with KSWT

    Why Advertise on KSWT? Advertise your business with KSWT and discover a unique and powerful way to reach thousands of people in Yuma, Imperial Valley, Mexicali, San Luis & Algodones . Not only will advertisingMore >>
    KSWT is here to help you promote your business. Advertise with us today! Click here for information.More >>
  • Crime Watch

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - Yuma police say a dead woman was found in a car parked at Food City on 8th Street on Tuesday night, at around 6:20 p.m. Police are investigating her cause of death andMore >>
    Yuma police are investigating the death of a woman who was found in a parked car Tuesday night.More >>