BANGOR — A conservative think tank says the difference in taxes in Maine and New Hampshire has created a “retail oasis” in New Hampshire and a “retail desert” in Maine.

The report released today by The Maine Heritage Policy Center examines sales taxes, cigarette taxes, gasoline taxes, bottle taxes and alcohol taxes between the two states. Chief economist Scott Moody says New Hampshire is the clear winner in all categories, and benefits from increased economic activity.

His analysis says Maine lost $2.2 billion in retail activity from 1951 to 2007 because of its higher taxes.

Moody says that if Maine doesn’t take swift steps to lower its tax burden, then “we will continue to chase jobs and money out-of-state.”

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