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At the Grove, art directors shop for deals

April 1, 2009 | 12:37 pm

Three women were lugging big bags stuffed with pillows today from Crate & Barrel at the Grove shopping mall in the Fairfax District. They said they were shopping for a reality TV show and had spent about $400 on patio equipment.

Art directors Allison Carroll, 36, and Kathleen Franzke, 34, and set director Jackie Epstein, 40, said they knew the sales tax increase was coming, but they couldn’t shop Tuesday because they hadn’t decided what they needed.

Although they were spending the show’s money, they had shopped around for the best deals. Earlier in the day, they had stopped at Target and Ikea. Epstein, from Westchester, said she had shopped Tuesday in Rancho Cucamonga, thinking the lower sales tax might save her money. But when she factored in the 1 1/2-hour drive and the extra gas money, she concluded it was not worth it.

“If I need something, if I want something, I am going to buy it,” Epstein said. “There is nothing else I can do.”

Franzke, of Sherman Oaks, said she may need to save longer and curb her impulse buys:  “It’s a matter of what your time is worth.”

-- Joanna Lin

Penny70

A 1 percentage point increase in California's sales tax takes effect today. It brings the state sales tax to 6% -- but combined with local taxes, consumers in some cities are paying as much as 10% or more. The average local tax rate is now 9% -- one of highest in the nation. Times reporters are blogging reactions to the tax hike today. For more details about the tax hike and its impact, read Tax increases stack high in Pico Rivera  and It's your last weekend to shop before the sales tax increase.

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