New Jersey businesses brace for possible sales tax increase backlash

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Shopping in New Jersey became more taxing Saturday when a sales tax increase went into effect.

Some storeowners worry the increase from 6 percent to 7 percent will hurt their bottom line. They say it?s not so much the tax as other factors, like rising gas prices and interest rates, which may make consumers avoid stores. However, other business owners say they saw little change in the flow of traffic in their stores.

The increase is the result of a new state budget, which Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ) pushed for and shutdown the government over when lawmakers failed to pass it. The governor prevailed after a weeklong shutdown and signed off on the budget July 8. Despite the jump in the price of many retail goods, New Jersey shoppers still enjoy tax-free shopping on food and clothing.

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