Sales Tax Decreases in 2017

Let’s set the record straight, as of January 1, 2017, the effective Sales and Use Tax for the City of Santa Cruz is 8.5%.

Why? Well, because Proposition 30, The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012, expired on December 31, 2016. So, the statewide sales tax just dropped 0.25% on New Year’s Day. Happy New Year’s! This new 8.5% sales tax rate includes state, county, local, and district taxes for businesses in the City of Santa Cruz.

Sales tax in the City of Santa Cruz is 8.5% as of January 1, 2017

According to the California State Board of Equalization, retailers are responsible for charging the correct sales tax. Now things can be a bit complicated if a sale occurred in 2016 but the product was delivered in 2017. Then there are fixed-priced contracts and partial tax exemptions for timber harvesting equipment and racehorse breeding stock, and a few other things, in fact.

To address these finer points, please read the great information from the California Board of Equalization at:

Additional information on the sales and use tax are at:

Now, hold on a minute—or just wait until April Fools’ Day—because on April 1, 2017, the Santa Cruz sales tax will increase 0.5% due to the passage of Measure D. For businesses in the City of Santa Cruz, sales and use tax will become 9% this spring.

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