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That new car smell hasn”t overpowered many Butte County customers” instinct to save money.

Car sales at Oroville Ford Lincoln dropped by about half in June as prospective buyers await the one-cent sales tax decrease on Friday, said general manager Bob Byrd.

“It”s a big savings because of the price,” Byrd said.

The statewide sales tax will decrease from 8.25 percent to 7.25 percent on Friday. Gov. Jerry Brown proposed extending the sales tax but failed to secure enough Republican votes to put it on the ballot.

For every $10,000 of cost for items such as cars, Californians can save $100 in tax starting in July.

“We”re still selling cars, we”re just not selling many cars,” Byrd said.

Byrd thinks many customers are aware of the change and are waiting to buy what is usually their second largest purchase after a house, he said.

“I”m looking forward to Friday,” he said.

Some business owners said smaller ticket items have not seen a drop in sales.

“We haven”t had a single customer talk about it at all,” said Scott Denney, owner of Hughes Ski Hut. “I don”t know if they”re unaware or if they don”t care.”

The Chico shop sells “anything that can be pulled behind a boat” and high-end patio furniture, Denney said. The price difference on popular items such as a $400 to $800 wakeboard would be $4 to $8. But the tax on a $5,000 set of furniture would be $50 less.

Denney does not think the change will have an effect, just as the increase was “not a big deal,” he said.

He thinks that could be because of his products and clientele, he said.

“When they come in here, they do have expendable income,” Denney said. “Nothing we sell is anything anybody needs.”

Dave Maurer, owner of Sounds By Dave in Chico, said it”s hard to say if the tax decrease has cut sales.

“It”s not a huge amount of money,” Maurer said. “I don”t know if it”s enough to stop somebody from buying something.”

On a $1,000 television, a customer would save $10 in taxes on Friday, he said.

Maurer agreed that he doesn”t think most people know about the decrease, he said.

“It”s so rare that taxes ever go down, it”s hard to believe it”s possible,” he said.

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