Southern California -- this just in

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In Norwalk, buyers double-check their receipts

April 1, 2009 | 10:42 am

Some customers at a Target in Norwalk were double-checking their receipts this morning.

Leonor Stewart, 36, said she had spent $212, including $140 on a new digital camera. The mother of four said she planned to make the purchases Tuesday, before California's tax hike took effect, but she got too busy.

Stewart, who works as a grocery store manager, said she was resigned to the tax increase.

 “I don’t think we have any choice,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. “I wouldn’t have liked it to go up. But what can we do?"

Another customer, Laura Williams, a veteran Norwalk teacher, said it’s a sign of the times. She said she felt lucky to still have a job because many teachers recently received layoff notices.

“Personally, it’s a hardship,” she said of the new tax. “But it’s something we have to do to close the state deficit. That’s the kind of attitude you have to have with these things."

She said she has been cutting back on personal expenses, going out less.

“I’m grateful for what we have,” she said. “I have a job, unlike other people.”

-- Esmeralda Bermudez


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.