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Sales tax going up in El Cerrito

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Photo credit to Flickr user borman818 under Creative Commons attribution license

Shoppers in El Cerrito will start paying more sales tax when the rate goes up to 10.25 percent starting Friday.

That’s when the new voter-approved rate kicks in, making it the highest in Contra Costa County. The tax hike is temporary and will end in seven years.

It’s not uncommon for cities and counties to boost the sales tax rate to help pay for public services, especially in tight economic times. In Richmond, city leaders have placed a measure on the June ballot to increase the sales tax from 9.75 percent to 10.25 percent, generating up to $6 million a year. We’ll see how it fares. A simple majority vote is required to pass it.

It will be accompanied by an advisory measure to direct half the funds to Richmond schools and the other half to programs for the low-income.

Most California cities charge less than 10 percent in sales tax, but there are a handful that charge more. Pico Rivera and South Gate, both in Southern California, charge 10.75 percent.

Katherine Tam

Katherine is a Bay Area native and has been a reporter working for various publications for 11 years. She has been covering the city of Richmond for three years. She can be reached at ktam@bayareanewsgroup.com.