Magazine article American Libraries

California Librarians Gain Little in Opposing Serials Sales Tax

Magazine article American Libraries

California Librarians Gain Little in Opposing Serials Sales Tax

Article excerpt

California librarians won a small skirmish in an ongoing budgetary battle Nov. 1, when libraries in that state became eligible for a partial exemption from the state's new sales tax on serials.

"We don't have a clue how much money we can save on this," said Sue Plezia, senior analyst at the University of California System's Library Affairs Office. The exemption applies mainly to nonprofit publishers' serials that do not carry commercial advertising. Libraries themselves will have to determine which titles qualify, Plezia told AL. While UC campuses will survey publishers on their titles' eligibility, libraries are expected to pay the sales tax as due. Plezia estimated that UC's pre-exemption tax bill would have been as much as $2 million.

Until legislators made serials issued at intervals of three months or less subject to the state sales tax (which ranges from 7.25% to 8.25%) in July, these materials had been the only acquisitions on which California libraries paid no sales tax. Even before they passed the new law, legislators admitted they erred in neglecting to exempt libraries, according to Mary Sue Ferrell, executive director of the California Library Association. …

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