64. Sales Tax



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John had been saving his allowance for three weeks so that he could buy a telescope he had seen advertised in the newspaper. According to the advertisement, the telescope cost $94,99. John also did some odd jobs around the neighborhood where he lived. He mowed the neighbor's lawn and took another neighbor's dog for a walk. Finally he had 95 dollars.

One Saturday John walked to the store. He had brought with him the advertisement, which he had cut out from the newspaper. He asked a salesperson in the store where he could find the telescope advertised. He pulled out the newspaper ad and showed it to the salesperson to make sure they took him to the right one. The salesperson showed John where the telescopes were and together they looked for the one he wanted. It was called the Vega 600.

"I found it!" John told the salesperson. The salesperson confirmed that the Vega 600 cost $94.99 and brought the box to the cash register so that John could pay for it. John was so excited. He felt like jumping up and down. He had worked so hard to get this.

"That will be $104.01," the salesperson told John. "Did you advertise it as $94.99?" John asked angrily. He thought the salesperson was trying to take advantage of him. "Yes, it is, but we have to add sales tax. It's the law. In California the sales tax is 9.5 percent, "the salesperson explained. "Why don't you just put the final price on advertisements and price tags then?" John asked. "Then everything seems more expensive and people won't come into the store to buy," the salesperson explained. "Everything is more expensive!" John said angrily, walking out of the store without the telescope.





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