California State Sales Tax Rate Still the Highest
- Feb 15, 2012 | Susan McLain
According to the recent release of Tax Foundation’s State and Local Sales Taxes in 2012, “California, despite a 1 percent reduction in its sales tax rate that took effect July 1, 2011, still has the highest state-level rate at 7.25 percent.” The rate noted by Tax Foundation includes a mandatory local sales tax rate of 1 percent, making the state-only portion of the rate 6.25 percent.
However, the results have been reported on in conflicting ways:
- The LA Times: "California's sales tax rate not the nation's highest...";
- KMJNOW.com says, "California's 12th Highest Sales Tax..."; and
- The Sacramento Bee says, "California state sales tax rate highest, but overall rate ranks 12th."
Apparently, all these interpretations are correct. If you take the state-only portion of the statewide sales tax rate (6.25 percent), then California actually has a lower state-only portion of the state sales tax rate than Washington State, which is at 6.5 percent. However, using the statewide rate that includes a mandatory local rate of 1 percent, 7.25 percent is one of the highest rates in the nation.
But regardless of the state-only rate, the Sacramento Bee reports, "...a few jurisdictions [have an] overall rate [that] approaches 10 percent, according to data from the state Board of Equalization."
Currently Governor Jerry Brown has a tax increase of one-half percent on the docket for voter approval in November.