Sales Tax Decreases in 2017

January 1, 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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