Due to voter approval of Proposition 30, the statewide sales and use tax rate will increase one quarter of one percent (0.25%) on Jan. 1.
The higher tax rate will apply for four years - Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2016.
For more information on this increase and a listing of tax rates, visit the California City & County Sales & Use Tax Rates webpage.
Gasoline prices dropping
Gas prices in the Bay Area and across the state continue to fall in December, with every metro area in Northern California registering a decrease at the pump since last month, an American Automobile Association spokeswoman said.
According to the AAA, California's average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.62, down 23 cents since mid-November. The average Bay Area price was $3.71, down 27 cents over the same time period, according to the AAA. Overall demand is expected to remain low into 2013.
The highest-priced gas in the Bay Area was in San Francisco, where motorists paid an average $3.83 per gallon. The lowest was in Vallejo, where a gallon averaged $3.49.
Walgreens to pay $16.5 million for environmental violatons
An Alameda County Superior Court judge has ordered the Illinois-based pharmacy company Walgreen Co. pay $16.57 million as part of a settlement for apparent environmental violations.
Together, 42 state district attorney offices and two city attorney offices filed a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company in June in Alameda County for illegal waste disposal and improper handling of confidential medical information.
The lawsuit was led by dozens of state and city offices including the district attorney's offices of Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Monterey and San Francisco counties. The lawsuit claimed more than 600 Walgreens stores statewide unlawfully handled and disposed of various hazardous waste and materials for more than six years.