Monday, December 24, 2012

Mexicans Account for More Than 5 Percent of Pima's Tax Revenue and Officials Want More

Posted By on Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

This is traditionally the time of year when news outlets, facing slow news days (aside from the occasional terrifying mass shooting, of course), throw together trend stories about holiday shopping.

The Los Angeles Times isn't immune to this trend—though they went the extra 480-some-odd miles for this one, venturing to check out the consumer relationship between Tucson and Mexico, pointing out that Mexican consumers account for roughly 5% of Pima County sales tax revenue and noting that officials are working to bring that number up.

From the L.A. Times:

Faced with political backlash from the state's tough illegal immigration laws and increasing efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, local officials have tried to mitigate the long border lines and bad perceptions with grass-roots public relations.

They've met with Mexican officials, trained local retailers in Mexican culture and even created a half-hour Tucson tourism television show for more than 200,000 cable subscribers living in Mexican border states. Their aim? To banish the perception that Arizona is unwelcoming or hostile toward Mexicans.

"We really need that customer to come here," said Felipe Garcia, executive vice president of the visitors bureau.

An estimated 24 million Mexicans visited Arizona in 2007 alone, according to the most recent University of Arizona study. Of those, about 2.7 million visited the Tucson region and spent about $976 million in Pima County. Tourism officials think those numbers have continued to rise.

Check out the full story at latimes.com.

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