A National Post story today is reporting that Erie County, a section of Upstate New York that includes Buffalo, collected a record $1.25 billion dollars in sales taxes last year, most of it apparently coming from Canadians. The Post states that Buffalo and other cities in the Niagara Region lure us down there with “a favourable exchange rate, lower sales tax and, often, lower prices and better selection.” Well, it’s certainly not the scenery that brings Canucks down to Buffalo, that’s for sure…
But that’s not the only reason people shop stateside, as per the Post. “One shopper mentions the bigger portion sizes at U.S. restaurants. Perhaps related, he adds there are also larger pant sizes here. Another says she buys tin foil in New York because the American version is made in the U.S. instead of in China, where the Canadian stuff comes from.” You wouldn’t wanna build your tinfoil hat outta Chinese tinfoil, that’s for sure!
Clearly, Buffalo retail clerks are feeling the love. “Nearly 90% of our customers are Canadian,” says one store manager. “They’re usually the ones with lots of shopping bags. We call it ‘spotting the whales.’”
That’s funny, the term I use to describe Americans who come up here to party and buy drugs is awfully similar to the French word for seal… ;)