Sales decline 50% at stores along the border since 2013 fee increase
MINNEAPOLIS — Today a coalition of Minnesota’s retailers, service stations, wholesales, grocers and convenience stores released a new study showing the devastating effects the state’s 2013 tobacco tax has had on Minnesota retailers and their employees.
Some of the study highlights include:
- 1,100 jobs are estimated to have been lost or eliminated.
- 50% tobacco sales decline in Minnesota stores along the border.
- Dramatic sales increases of tobacco products in all four bordering states.
- $38 million of lost sales of nontobacco products.
- Nearly a quarter of all cigarettes consumed in Minnesota are now estimated to be purchased in other states.
- Automatic tax increases on tobacco products will continue starting in 2015.
Retailers on the borders of Minnesota are seeing the worst impacts. “Cigarette sales dropped 75%. We used to do 300 cartons a week, now we buy 70 to 80 a week,“ said Rodney Helming, owner, Oasis Convenience Stores in Moorehead, Minn. The study shows a corresponding increase in tobacco sales in communities just across the Minnesota.