On Jan. 1, 2017, the statewide sales and use tax rate will decrease from 7.50% to 7.25% as part of the expiring Proposition 30 passed in 2012.
The decrease in the statewide rate is effective for all cities and counties in California; however, in many jurisdictions in California the actual sales and use tax rate may still be higher than the statewide rate due to the addition of district taxes.
In Madera County, that means the sales tax will drop from 8% to 7.75%, though on March 7, voters will decide whether to approve a 1% sales tax increase for additional funding towards firefighters and law enforcement. Madera County’s 0.50% higher sales tax is due to a half-cent increase for Measure T, a voter-approved measure in 2006 to fund roadway improvement through the Madera County Transportation Commission.
Proposition 30, The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act approved by California voters in November 2012, temporarily increased the sales and use tax by 0.25 percent and expires Dec. 31, 2016.
To find the correct rate in your city or county, visit the State Board of Equalization’s Find a Sales and Use Tax Rate webpage and enter the address as prompted. Additionally, a listing of sales and use tax rates for each city and county is available on the California City & County Sales & Use Tax Rates webpage. Please note, however, the 0.25 percent statewide tax rate decrease will not be reflected on these pages until Jan. 1.
A retailer who continues to charge and collect the higher statewide sales and use tax rate after Jan. 1 must either refund the excess tax collected to their customer or pay the excess tax to the Board of Equalization (BOE). If the excess tax collected has been paid to the BOE, the retailer may request a refund on behalf of their customer by completing form BOE-101, Claim for Refund or Credit.
For merchandise delivered after Jan. 1, the applicable sales and use tax rate is the rate that is in effect at the time the sale occurs. Generally, the sale occurs when the merchandise is delivered to the customer, unless the sales contract specifically states that title to the merchandise passes to the customer prior to delivery. With returned merchandise, the customer should be refunded the amount of tax at the rate that was charged and collected from the customer at the time of the original sale.
For information on how this affects fixed-price contracts, partial tax exemptions, fuel sales, and filing split returns, visit the BOE website, or call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.
The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects $60.5 billion annually in taxes and fees, supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit the California Tax Service Center.