rutters stretches south

Chain explores the moving into Maryland to avoid taxes.

Scott Hartman, president, told the York Dispatch of the plan to open about 10 new or expanded stores in 2008. The year after that, the 51-store chain will be looking toward the northern Maryland market.

“We’ve had several good years here, and we hope to have more,” Hartman told the newspaper. The company has stores in York, Adams, Lancaster, Franklin and Cumberland counties in Pennsylvania. “Outside the issue of taxes, this is a good place to do business.”

Taxes are the main reason for the chain to open stores in northern Maryland. Taxes on gas at the pump are 8.5 cents a gallon higher, and on cigarettes are 35 cents a pack higher in Pennsylvania than in Maryland, according to the Dispatch.

“There’s quite a bit of cross-border traffic, and the fact is those taxes put us at a disadvantage,” Hartman said. “So if you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them.”

The company currently can’t discuss future locations in Maryland, however, Hartman said the company could potentially be in the northern part of the state within two years.

7ads6x98ycss.php