Updated after the jump with comments from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce's CEO, who says high sales taxes could hurt car sales. Originally posted at 1:38 p.m.
Eleven cents on the dollar in sales tax? Believe that. As five California cities, including two in Southern California, prepare to raise their sales taxes Oct. 1, we took a look at the statewide list of tax rates and found — surprise — municipalities in Los Angeles County have the highest rates in the nation. Some of them even have a rate of nearly 11 cents, or more than $1 in every $10 you spend. Of the five cities in the Golden State with sales tax rates higher than 10 percent, all five are in L.A. County. They include:
-Pico Rivera, at 10.75 percent.
-South Gate, at 10.75 percent.
-Avalon, at 10.25 percent.
-El Monte, at 10.25 percent.
-Inglewood, at 10.25 percent.
Your beloved city of L.A. is near the top, but not at the top. Sales tax here is 9.75. The reviled city of Bell, where a city manager was taking home nearly $1.5 million in salary? Same deal — high, but not highest: 9.75. (See the entire list of municipal sales tax rates in PDF here).
Why do L.A. County municipalities dominate the high-tax bracket? We don't know. We have a call in at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. We'll let you know what we hear.
[Updated here]: Chamber CEO Gary Toebben tells us that shoppers usually don't discriminate against cities because of their sales tax … unless they're buying big-ticket items such as cars.
“On larger items,” he says, “if you're purchasing a $20,000 or $30,000 car you will notice that and you may have a tendency to go to a city where sales tax on car sales is lower.”
By the way, those Southern California cities that voted to increase their sales taxes for Oct. 1 include Calexico, which gets a half-cent bump to 9.25 percent, and Cathedral City, which goes up 1 cent to 9.75 percent. The base statewide sales tax is 8.25 percent. Many cities have this rate.