WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — If you drive through the parking lot at the Concord Mall in Wilmington, Delaware, you’ll notice many out-of-state license plates, including many from Pennsylvania.
“People come from the surrounding areas to save on sales tax and it could be fairly significant,” said Bret Morris, the owner of AR Morris Jewelers in Wilmington, Delaware.
Morris says the urge to pay just the price on the tag sends many Pennsylvanians driving south to toward the first state.
“It could be thousands of dollars. We recently had somebody buying a 35th anniversary pair of diamond earrings. If we calculated, they saved $3500 in sales tax,” explained Morris.
For those willing to make the drive, the savings could soon be even larger. Under a budget proposal by Governor Tom Wolf, sales tax could increase 1.25% to 7.25%. That move would make Pennsylvania the state with the second highest sales tax in the country. In Philadelphia County, the tax rate would be 9.25%.
“It’s just crazy. That’s way too much,” said Philadelphia resident Leslie Swezey, reacting to the possible increase.
“If I were to buy something bigger, of course I would go to Delaware,” said Philly resident Aubrey Coleman.
The concern over heading south to shop has many Philadelphia business owner concerned.
“We’re struggling as it is. It’s going to be much harder,” said Julia Zagar, the owner of Eye’s Gallery on South Street.
“10% or almost 10% is a big chunk,” she continued.
If the state legislature passes the increase, the earliest it would go into effect would be January 1, 2016.