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L.A. County sales tax increase in effect

June 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Buying things in L.A. County is going to cost more starting Wednesday because the sales tax is going up by a half cent.The increase to 9.75 percent makes the sales tax one of the highest in the country.

It's not the kind of news anyone wants to hear during a recession.

The increase is due to Measure R, which was passed in November by voters. Measure R will raise money for transportation projects across the county for rail, highway and roads.

"Money's gotta come from somewhere, and I don't want public services cut, so I'm OK with it," said shopper Aaron Demoray.

But there's already concern that the measure will not raise as much money as initially planned because of the slow economy. The goal was to raise $40 billion, but now officials think they'll fall short of that by $1.5 billion because people are not spending as much money.

Some people said they are considering driving to another county to spend their money.

"We should go to another city, but then again, you're going to waste more gas, and it'll probably be the same," said shopper Victor Aleman.

Some cities also have their own sales tax on top of the county sales tax, and in some places, you could pay more than 10 cents for every dollar you spend.

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