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Sales Taxes under Pressure to Rise


Aired 4/19/09


 Most San Diego residents pay between 7% and 8% in sales tax, but pressure on state and local budgets could boost that to over 10%. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.


Cities around San Diego County have mostly kept sales taxes in the 7% range. But 4 cities: Vista, El Cajon, National City and Las Mesa, have recently raised theirs to over 8%. Tonight, Chula Vista is the next in line to decide whether to put a sales tax hike on the ballot.


Chula Vista  Mayor Cheryll Cox says the city has cut its budget by almost 30% already over the last two years.


COX: " You can cut and cut and cut, leaving vital services as in tact as you can, but then sooner rather than later even those vital services begin to show shreds of wear."


Chula Vista, like the city of San Diego, currently has a 7 3/4% sales tax. A full percentage point increase could bring that to nearly 9%.


Meanwhile, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants a sales tax hike of 1.5% .  If that goes through, many Californians are looking at paying more than 10% on purchases in the not too distant future.


Alison St John, KPBS news. 

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