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Jan 4, 2014 9:24 PM by Erika Flores

Businesses expect economic boost this weekend

TUCSON-Businesses are expecting a boost from Mexican shoppers this weekend because of Mexico's recent sales tax hike in border regions and because many Mexican nationals are preparing for Three Kinds Day, a traditional celebration in parts of Latin America where children write letters to the three wise men requesting a toy or a gift.

They're also taking advantage of these after Christmas mark downs.

"There are good brands here at a good price," said Samuel Hernandez from Hermosillo.

"We save money with the deals here," said Margarita Petris

Mexican license plates from several states at the Foothills Mall parking lot are not an uncommon sight.

"They spend a billion dollars a year here in Pima County," said Lea Marquez-Peterson with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

But this weekend, there's triple the reason for Mexican nationals to shop.

"You see a lot of great deals, so this is certainly a wonderful time for those from Sonora and other states who want to come up and shop, and I hope our retailers are prepared," said Marquez-Peterson.

The deals attract the shoppers, but Mexico's sales tax hike in border regions and the traditional Three Kings Day celebration add to it.

"The truth is it is better to come here to shop than over there," said Carolina Gaxiola.

This year, Mexico raised the federal sales tax in border regions to match the rest of the country from 11 percent to 16 percent.

"A higher tax rate makes everything more expensive in Mexico," said Margarita Petris.

So Petris made the trip across the border to shop here instead.

Monday is Three Kings Day and Petris wants to be prepared.

"We get toys for the nephews. That's part of the tradition," said Petris.

Lea Marquez-Peterson said this weekend, businesses should see a boost in sales as a result.

"We're excited about the impact in Arizona," she said.

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