Thu, July 18

New county jail sales tax takes effect<br>

People in Yavapai County now pay a little bit more for a lot of things.

Saturday, the county government's new jail district sales tax took effect. Voters approved it last November.

The county expects to bring in about $4 million annually from the tax, and use it to expand its jail buildings and operations.

The two-tenths of a percent tax means you'll pay an extra penny for every $5 purchase. The county's sales tax follows the state's model, so some purchases such as food are excluded (but not restaurant meals).

The new jail district puts the county's total tax at 0.7 percent, tied with Maricopa for fifth highest county sales tax in the state.

Every incorporated community in Yavapai County except Jerome has at least a 2-percent sales tax, alongside the county and state sales tax.

The state Legislature just approved asking voters in November to increase its 5-percent tax by 0.7 percent for schools.

Hundreds of businesses throughout Yavapai County have had to reprogram their cash registers to charge the new tax. Some business owners have figured out how to do it themselves, whereas others need to call for help.

The Arizona Department of Revenue is charged with collecting the tax, and its June business newsletter reminded businesses about the new tax.

Businesses that want to find out if they need to collect the tax should call 800-843-7196, or 602-542-4656. Some construction contracts signed before Nov. 2,1999, also are exempt; call the same 602 number for questions about that.