California Sales Tax Increases 1%

April 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you are buying a car, or anything else for that matter, it will be more expensive starting Wednesday because the sales tax is increasing by a full percentage point.The sales tax is going up one-percent across the state today. It may not sound like much, but for big ticket items, like cars, it makes a huge difference.

If you've been car shopping, one day will make hundreds of dollars of difference, now that the California sales tax is increasing by one-percent.

"How would you feel if you come in on April second and you want to buy a new truck and we say, gee if you were here yesterday, you could have saved $600 dollars," said Mark Rapin with Freedom Ford Truck Center.

Freedom Ford Vice President Mark Rapin said the tax hike could catch some customers off guard.

As of today, April 1st, sales tax in Merced increases to 8.75 percent, in Fresno and Clovis 8.975 percent, and in Visalia 9-percent.

On something like big screen TV's or laptops some customers say the amount of tax could be a deterrent.

"If you're buying something huge like a computer you're gonna be paying that much more," said electronics customer J.D. Raymer.

Some say they'll simply shop online popular sites like Amazon.com don't charge any sales tax at all. "There are certain things that you physically wanna come and tough and buy. Old school mind but generally people might buy more on Amazon or another website like that," said electronics customer Hami Oganesyn.

Ruth Cox, who sells furniture at Gary O's in Clovis, believes in the grand scheme of things the one percent increase won't make much of a difference to her customers. "I think because stores probably like us are having really good sales anyway, I think they feel like they're getting a good bargain on the item anyway, that the little bit extra sales tax isn't going to stop them."

The extra sales tax didn't stop Dawn Wallace from making some big purchases. It just enticed her to shop for them two months in advance. "We bought the Samsung refrigerator and washer and dryer and we also bought an LG TV flat screen because of the sales tax going up."

As for cars, not only will there be a higher sales tax now, but the vehicle licensing fee goes up in May.

The sales tax increase will be temporary. It's set to expire in June of 2011 or June of 2012, depending on what voters decide when proposition 1A comes on the ballot in May.

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