Students react to sales tax increase
April 1, 2009 3:30 PM
San Francisco's new sales tax rate of 9.5 percent is the second highest of all counties in the state, which has the country's highest sales tax.
Mixed feelings are common amongst students who are personally suffering from America's recession, but also realize the desperate financial situation of California. Much of the money will be used to combat the recent dramatic cuts in education and health care.
"California needs more money, it shows in this school," said anthropology student Katelyn Leaird. "They better be accountable, though."
Many students feel the tax is unfair to their demographic, a group notorious for struggling to get by. The new sales tax, they feel, is unfair in that it costs the rich and poor people alike the same amount.
"It's frustrating they're taxing the people instead of going after the corporations and big businesses," said political science student Ashley DiReggiero. "I just can't buy as much these days."
New price changes are likely to force people to consume less. Car sales to book sales are even down this quarter, according General Motors and Borders. GM reported a decline of 45 percent in sales. Borders reported a decline of 11.7 percent in book sales.
For example, the new rate will make the sales tax on a $2,500 MacBook Pro laptop $25.
Many smokers on campus have already felt the stress of the new law due to an extra $1.50 implemented on all cigarette packs earlier this year. In addition to this tax, this month the federal tax on tobacco is going up almost 300%.
Forrest Stone, a junior Sociology major, says the tax has not affected his smoking yet. He sympathizes with the reasons behind the charges but is starting to notice an extra loss of money.
"I really do understand what it's for," he said. "Damn it, though, don't take my money."
Bay Area Sales Tax Rates (by county):
Source: California State Board of Equalization
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