The tax gods speak

Today’s story saying that Stockton is shipping $12,000 in sales taxes to Tracy for buying 48 new patrol cars in the south county drew queries from readers, who questioned the accuracy. No, the sales tax revenue from a car sold in Tracy but registered in Stockton will flow to Stockton, callers said.

City officials told the City Council otherwise, and we reported it that way. Questions came in.

So I submitted the case to a higher authority – the states Board of Equalization. Here’s the response:

For vehicle sales, the tax rate depends upon the location of where the vehicle will be registered. Regardless of where purchased, a vehicle sold today and registered in Stockton would be charged the current Stockton sales tax rate of 8.25%. The law provides that the sales tax revenue be divided among the location where the vehicle was sold, where it was registered, and the State of California.

In this scenario, the revenue from that 8.25% tax rate would be allocated as follows if the sale was by a dealer in the City of Tracy:

0.75% to the City of Tracy

0.25% to San Joaquin County for transportation purposes

0.25% to Stockton (due to a Stockton approved Public Safety Transaction and Use Tax increase)

0.50% to the San Joaquin Transportation Authority (due to a county approved tax increase)

6.50% to the State of California (for more details about the allocation of this revenue, please visit:

Tracy Ford put in a bid of $1,392,794. By my math, 0.75 percent of one cent (or $0 .0075) comes to $10,446. The city called that “about $12,000.”

Stockton will receive .25 percent of each cent (or $0.0025), which calculates to $3,482 from its Public Safety Transaction and Use Tax, also known as Measure W. Same figure goes to the county under Measure K.

The story stands. I believe that aside from all the multiplication and decimal points, the outrage from some readers remains that Stockton isn’t keeping the money local.

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