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Liquor stores ringing up big business

Sales tax repeal already leading to boost in area sales

January 06, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — With the repeal of the Massachusetts liquor tax going into effect on Jan. 1, local liquor stores have already seen a rise in sales.

A 6.25 percent alcohol tax was implemented on Aug. 1, 2009 and voters chose to repeal the tax in the Nov. 2 election.

"I've already seen an incredible increase in sales in just five days," said Nancy Blackburn of Wales a 13-year employee at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge, on Wednesday, Jan. 5. "People are buying more when they buy now and they're buying the expensive stuff they used to buy."

"I'm betting that a lot of customers didn't even realize it was taxed to begin with," said Colleen Charbonneau, a manager at Colonial Spirits. "They just thought that we raised our prices and now they think we've lowered them. I haven't seen a huge spike in sales, but it's only a matter of time before we will. Connecticut residents are going to come here to save money. It's just inevitable."

Blackburn contrasts with Charbonneau, in her opinion that plenty of customers come in every day and mention how glad they are that the tax has been repealed. So many mention it that it has come to be an annoyance, according to many that work at Yankee Spirits.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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