One percent isn’t a lot, but when it comes to sales taxes, it can make a big difference.

As of Wednesday, April 1, 2009 California state sales tax increased to 6 percent, in an attempt to alleviate the state deficit.

For Santa Cruz residents, the sales tax went from 8.5 to 9.5 percent, making it the highest rate in the area.

With this tax, the government aims to bring in $5.8 billion before it expires in July 2011. However, it could be extended until 2012 if voters approve the Proposition 1A Budget Stabilization Act during special elections in May.