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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 10:17 pm | Fair 45º


No Foolin’: You’re Paying Almost 9% in Sales Tax Now

Tax hike is intended to raise $5.8 billion toward California's $42 billion deficit

As of Wednesday, you’ll be paying more for your purchases, in the amount of an extra penny for every dollar spent. It may be April Fools’ Day but it’s no joke as California’s sales tax has increased by 1 percent, raising what Santa Barbara County residents pay in tax for what they buy to 8.75 percent.

The increase — actually 6 percent at the state level, although local agencies tack on taxes of their own — will expire July 1, 2011, or it will be extended to July 2012 if voters approve Proposition 1A in the May 19 special election. The sales tax hike is part of the recent budget deal to close California’s $42 billion shortfall, and state officials expect it to raise up to $5.8 billion over the next 15 months. It’s not the only tax increase Californians will see this year; personal income taxes and vehicle-license fees have been raised and the dependent-care tax credit has been lowered.

California now has one of the highest sales taxes in the nation, with the average local rate at almost 9 percent. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Tax Foundation says the median rate of state and local sales taxes was 5.5 percent nationwide at the beginning of the year.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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