California state budget gives 1% tax break

It might be time to buy that Tiffany necklace, Sony plasma TV or Winnebago you've been hankering for.

Starting Friday, shoppers will pay 1% less for taxable goods, meaning potentially hundreds of dollars of savings on big-ticket items. The state budget signed into law Thursday drops the statewide sales tax rate to 7.25%, leaving sales tax in Fresno County between 7.975% and 8.725%, depending on which local levies are thrown on top.

The new budget also provides a break on vehicle licensing fees, nearly halving them to 0.65% of a car's value.

The tax cuts come after the governor failed to get Republican support for tax extensions. While supporters of the extensions fear that schools, public safety and programs for the poor now will suffer, many businesses leaders are hopeful the newfound savings for taxpayers will have a stimulus effect on spending – even if it's slight, as most experts are projecting it will be.

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