Illinois tobacco tax impacting border businesses
METROPOLIS- William Adams, owner of Metro Speedy Mart in Metropolis, predicted the hit he would take when Illinois raised its tobacco tax. Now, he's bracing for a hit every month.
"I'd say roughly $11,000 or $12,000 a month in loss of sales...totally lost," he said.
To make up for the losses he's coming up with a new plan of action.
"We will expand our liquor line as a way to boost sales and we'll also look at some type of food programs for the other side where we used to have the counters," Adams said.
The liquor will be available in the next two weeks, but Adams wants to make sure he picks the food that will sell the best.
Just a few miles south, Kim Overby is also making changes to her business plan. She's the president of Cigarettes for Less in Paducah.
"We've done advertising in Illinois, billboards, that kind of thing. We're looking for those opportunities again," she said. That's because about 80% of her business already comes from Illinois and because the taxes are lower in Kentucky she's hoping to capitalize even more.
"We positioned ourselves a number of years ago for the very reason that it is on the Illinois boarder," she said.
Illinois tax is $1.98 a pack now, the highest in the four state region. Kentucky's tax is only 60 cents a pack. Missouri has the lowest tax in the country at just 17 cents.