retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe has an interesting story about the terrific Roche Bros. Downtown Crossing store in Boston - a two level operation that has proven to be enormously popular since its opening.

It seems that some customers in the larger lower level - where the bulk of the fresh foods and grocery aisles are - are trying to avoid the long lines there by taking the escalator upstairs and paying for their purchases in the convenience-oriented takeout section.

But there’s a problem - when they go upstairs, they end up paying a seven percent tax on items that are not taxable. Upstairs, “the seven registers charge a 7 percent meals tax on everything.” And while Roche Bros. wants to adjust the registers so they only charge tax on items that require it, state officials won’t let them - they have “deemed the upstairs portion of the store to be a restaurant and mandates that the registers there treat all sales as taxable.”

And no wonder, the Globe writes, because the policy actually creates a small windfall for state coffers.
KC's View:
I hope the Globe story accomplishes the near impossible - showing bureaucracy to be sometime working against the best interests of the citizens for whom they work.