Prop 30 spurs large purchases before new year

December 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The new year means an increase in California sales tax by a quarter percent. And some Valley residents took advantage of the 2012 tax rates before they were over.

The Lopez family is ringing in the new year with a brand new car. "We wanted to come and buy a family car. Our family is growing and our bank offered a great interest rate," said Lisa Lopez.

The family decided to purchase a brand new sports utility vehicle on New Year's Eve because of low interest and the chance to buy at the 2012 sales tax rates. "That definitely pushed us forward to get it before the new year."

Local automotive dealers like Hedrick's Chevrolet say they have seen a increase in car sales, in the last ten days, from people trying to take advantage of deals before the year ends.

"We had a customer that came in at 8 o'clock this morning that decided just over the weekend that he was going to come in today and buy," said Brett Hedrick, Hedrick's Chevrolet co-owner.

Brett Hedrick says financial factors from rebates to low-interest rates is encouraging people to come in and drive off with a new car. "On a big ticket item like a car is a few hundred dollars. So by the time you take all of those and a lot of the financing companies, and banks have special rates for the end of the year -- you add all of those things together and they create a little bit of a frenzy"

Hedrick said so far, sales are up ten to 15 percent from last year, which he sees as sign the economy is picking up. He's hoping this trend will continue into the new year and that more Valley residents will have the confidence to buy again.

The new sales tax rate goes up a quarter of one percent starting January first. People buying cars at Hedrick's Chevrolet say they were happy to take advantage of lower rates because that means more money in their pockets.

Prop 30 will also raise income taxes on Californians earning more than $250-thousand a year.