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· Registered
3,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just for kicks I called a dealer in Oregon
(where they have no sales tax)
and asked about buying the car there
(even though my primary residence is in

They told me that the attorney general has
been scrutinizing all auto sales, and that
they are required to do "due dilligence"
(to prove that you are entitled to buy
the car there) including making sure
that you own property in Oregon.

Then I checked around California where sales
taxes vary regionally

County Tax County Tax County Tax
Name Rate Name Rate Name Rate

Alameda 8.25% Madera 7.75% San Joaquin 7.75%
Alpine 7.25% Marin 7.25% S. Luis Obispo 7.25%
Amador 7.25% Mariposa 7.25% San Mateo 8.25%
Butte 7.25% Mendocino 7.25% Santa Barbara 7.75%
Calaveras 7.25% Merced 7.25% Santa Clara 8.25%
Colusa 7.25% Modoc 7.25% Santa Cruz 8.00%
Contra Costa 8.25% Mono 7.25% Shasta 7.25%
Del Norte 7.75% Monterey 7.25% Sierra 7.25%
El Dorado 7.25% Napa 7.25% Siskiyou 7.25%
Fresno 7.75% Nevada 7.25% Solano 7.25%
Glenn 7.25% Orange 7.75% Sonoma 7.50%
Humboldt 7.25% Placer 7.25% Stanislaus 7.375%
Imperial 7.75% Plumas 7.25% Sutter 7.25%
Inyo 7.75% Riverside 7.75% Tehama 7.25%
Kern 7.25% Sacramento 7.75% Trinity 7.25%
Kings 7.25% San Benito 8.25% Tulare 7.75%
Lake 7.25% San Bernardino 7.75% Tuolumne 7.25%
Lassen 7.25% San Diego 7.75% Ventura 7.25%
Los Angeles 8.25% San Francisco 8.50% Yolo 7.25%
Yuba 7.25%

And I found that a dealership a few miles further away from me (Marin County) is
in a 7.25% (vs 8.25%) sales tax area.
I asked them about this, and they said
that they are required to collect tax based
on the county where you will title/register
the car...

Oh well - I guess people should probably just
buy from a dealership that is local
and not worry about trying to do
anything about sales tax...

· Registered
2 Posts
I believe the way this works is, even if you were able to purchase the vehicle in Oregon with no tax, California would still be able to charge you sales tax when you go to register the vehicle.

When you purchase a vehicle out of state, you pay that states sales tax. Then, when you bring the vehicle back to your home state, your state will basically still collect their own sales tax. However, they collect it from the state you paid the sales tax in. If your states tax is higher than the purchasing states, you must pay your state the difference from your pocket, while they retrieve the amount you already paid the other state, from that state. If your state's tax is LOWER than the one you are purchasing from, then your state will collect its taxes from the other state, and the purchasing state gets to keep the difference that they collected. You do not get it back.

So basically, if your state is 8%, and you buy from a state that is 5%, your state will take the 5% from where you purchased it, and charge you the 3% difference.

If your state is 5%, and you buy from a state that is 8%, your state will take the 5% from the one you purchased at, and the other state gets to keep the 3% they collected from you.

I cant guarentee this is completely accurate, but I believe that is how the federal trade laws work for between state automotive purchases.
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