“Thanks NS gov for high taxes, from NB retailers."
That's what people travelling along South Albion Street in Amherst have seen for almost a month outside Mike's Drive Thru and Convenience.
With owner Mike LeBlanc claiming sagging sales due to tax differences between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, he wanted to put something on the sign outside his store to express his displeasure over the situation.
"I wanted it to be sarcastic, but I also wanted customers and others to know what is happening," LeBlanc said.
In the spring, the province introduced another $10 per carton increase on tobacco products, adding to the difference customers save by going across the border to New Brunswick.
"I lost between 20 and 25 per cent of my customers after that last increase,” he said.
While many have been crying foul over the difference in gas prices over the last two years, LeBlanc said customers today are buying a lot more across the nearby border instead of shopping locally.
"Whether it's gas, tobacco or even milk," he said.
"The Nova Scotia government thinks the province ends in Truro. They don't think about the effect this has on small communities like Amherst."
Across the border, a manager with the Sackville Co-op Basics Supermarket said the store has seen an increase in customers.
"It's mainly the tobacco that we've seen an increase in -- that started whenever the prices increased," she said.