The Great Tax Divide: Maine’s Retail Desert vs. New Hampshire’s Retail Oasis


Hopefully by now you’ve seen my latest study “The Great Tax Divide.”

However, I do want to clear up a misquote in the article by the Portland Press Herald.  They state:

His analysis says Maine lost $2.2 billion in retail activity from 1951 to 2007 because of its higher taxes.

Unfortunately, this implies that the $2.2 billion in lost retail activity was for the entire time-period of 1951 to 2007 when, in fact, it is the estimate just for 2007.  In 2002, the year with the greatest retail sales gap, if Maine had the same per capita retail sales as New Hampshire then sales would have been $2.4 billion higher in Maine in just that year alone.

Finally, retailers understand where their customer want to shop.  The map below shows the placement for the major big-box retailers (Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes and Target) along the Maine-New Hampshire border.  On the Maine side there is a 40+ mile “retail desert,” but on the New Hampshire side the big-box stores cluster as close to the border as is physically possible.

View The Great Tax Divide: Maine in a larger map