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March 29, 2020

Sales Tax by State – New York

Sales Tax by State

2020 New York Sales Tax Fact Sheet

Last updated on: March 28, 2020

New York Sales and Use Tax Rate Lookup by Address:
Use USgeocoder Sales and Use Tax FREE Online Lookup Tool to search state-wide, county, local and special district Sales and Use tax rates and tax reporting details for any physical address and PO Box in New York:

New York Sales tax components:
Statewide tax
Local district tax: County tax, Municipality (incorporated city) tax, and Special district tax (Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District)

New York Statewide Sales Tax Rate:
4.00%

Highest Total Local District Sales Tax Rate in New York:
4.875%

Highest Total Sales Tax Rate with Local District Sales Tax in New York:
8.875%

Incorporated city with the Highest Sales Tax Rate in New York:
Yonkers City in Westchester county, New York City (8.875%)

Number of Counties in  New York
62

Number of Municipalities (Incorporated cities, Town & Villages) in New York:
1528 (62 cities, 932 towns, 534 villages)

Special District Sales and Use Taxes in New York:
Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District

Can I Use Zip Codes to Determine Correct Sales Tax Rates in New York?
No.

**Zip codes cross city boundaries. Different cities might have different local district rates. In addition, city taxes only apply to areas within the respective incorporated city. If an address is in an un-incorporated area, city taxes do not apply. You should look for an address-based solution such as USgeocoder that can identify if the address is within an incorporated city to determine its sales tax rates in New York.

Can I Use County and City to Determine Correct Sales Tax Rates in New York?
No.

**In New York State, city and town are different types of local municipality. City and special district sales tax only apply to incorporated cities. They do not apply to towns. However the following six towns have a city of same name exists in the same county. In order to correctly calculate the sales tax rate, you should consider an address-based solution such as USgeocoder to identify if an address is in a city or a town, and use such information to determine its sales tax rates.

  1. Olean town and city in Cattaraugus County
  2. Salamanca town and city in Cattaraugus County
  3. Norwich town and city in Chenango County
  4. Johnstown town and city in Fulton County
  5. Oswego town and city in Oswego County
  6. Ithaca town and city in Thompkins County

Are Sales Tax Rates and Use Tax Rates the Same in New York?
Yes

Does New York Have Tax Codes for Tax Return Reporting Purpose?
Yes

Sales and Use Tax Rate Update Schedule in New York:
Update Frequency: Does not have a regular update schedule
Last update: August 1, 2019

Does New York Have an Origin-Based or Destination-Based Sales Tax Collection?
Destination

**Origin-based: sales tax is charged based on where the seller is located.
**Destination-based: sales tax is charged based on where the buy is located

Is New York a Full Member of Streamlined State?
No

**A streamlined Full Member State is a state that has been found to be in compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) and its laws, rules, regulations, and policies and bring them into compliance are in effect. See details on Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board’s website

Do New York Have Sales Tax Holidays?
No

Wayfair Sales Tax Implementation in New York:
Sales Thresholds: $500,000, AND
Transaction Threshold: 100

Wayfair sales tax implementation applies to out-of-state sales, remote sales, Internet sales and online sales. See details on https://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/publications/sales/nexus.htm

Does New York Charge Sales Tax on Digital Goods?
Generally no

Does New York Charge Sales Tax on Services?
Generally exempt unless they are specifically taxable.
See details on: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/tg_bulletins/st/quick_reference_guide_for_taxable_and_exempt_property_and_services.htm

Does New York Charge Sales Tax on Shipping?
Generally yes.
See details on https://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/tg_bulletins/st/shipping_and_delivery_charges.htm

New York State Sales and Use Tax Authority:
New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
Website: https://www.tax.ny.gov/default.htm

Other Resources:

  1. New York State Sales and Use Tax Rates by Jurisdiction Published by New York Sate Department of Taxation and Finance: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/sales/pub718.pdf
  2. Enactment and Effective Dates of Sales and Use Tax Rates Published by New York Sate Department of Taxation and Finance: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/sales/pub718a.pdf
  3. Jurisdiction/Rate Lookup by Address Provided by New York Sate Department of Taxation and Finance: https://www8.tax.ny.gov/JRLA/jrlaStart
  4. Guide to the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/mctmt/pub420.pdf

Looking for an Online Solution that provides real-time sales tax rates for your application? 

Try USgeocoder API. It provides all the information you will get from USgeocoder Live Demo.

USgeocoder live demo is free to use. You can use it to lookup sales and use tax rate information one address at a time. However if you have a large number of addresses and would like to save time, USgeocoder can do it for you through batch processing service.


SALES TAX BY STATE

California, New York


DISCLAIMERS:

SALES AND USE TAX INFORMATION ON THIS BLOG REFERS TO THE GENERAL SALES OF TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY. IN MANY STATES, THERE ARE DIFFERENT RATES FOR RENTAL, LEASING, AND TANGIBLE ITEMS SUCH AS VEHICLE, EQUIPMENT, FOOD, OR CLOTHING. SOME STATES HAVE DIFFERENT SALES TAX RATES THAN USE TAX RATES. EACH STATE HAS ITS OWN RULES ON EXEMPTIONS. PLEASE REFER TO THE SALES AND USE TAX LAW OF INDIVIDUAL STATES FOR DETAILS.

USGEOCODER LLC IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN ANY MANNER. ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE IS PREPARED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR OWN TAX, LEGAL AND ACCOUNTING ADVISORS TO ADDRESS YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AND BEFORE ENGAGING IN ANY TRANSACTION RELATED TO SALES AND USE TAX.

March 26, 2020

Sales Tax by State – California

Sales Tax by State

2020 California Sales Tax Fact Sheet

Last updated on: April 1, 2020

California Sales and Use Tax Rate Lookup by Address:
Use USgeocoder Sales and Use Tax FREE Online Lookup Tool to search state-wide, county, local and special district Sales and Use tax rates and tax reporting details for any physical address and PO Box in California:

California Sales tax components:
Statewide tax
Local district tax: County tax, Municipality (incorporated city) tax, Special district tax (cross-county, cross-municipality, un-incorporated areas, and other special purpose district taxes)

California Statewide Sales Tax Rate:
7.25%

Highest Total Local District Sales Tax Rate in California:
3.25%

Highest Total Sales Tax Rate with Local District Sales Tax in California:
10.50%

Incorporated city with the Highest Sales Tax Rate in California:
Santa Fe Springs City in Los Angels County (10.50%)

Number of Counties in California:
58

Number of Municipalities (Incorporated cities) in California:
482

Special District Sales and Use Taxes in California:

  1. Bay Area Rapid Transit District: Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties
  2. Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transportation Authority: Sonoma and Marin counties
  3. Unincorporated Area Transaction and Use Tax: Santa Cruz and Yuba counties

Can I Use Zip Codes to Determine Correct Sales Tax Rates in California?
No.

**Zip codes cross city boundaries. Different cities might have different local district rates. In addition, city taxes only apply to areas within the respective incorporated city. If an address is in an un-incorporated area, city taxes do not apply. You should look for an address-based solution such as USgeocoder that can identify if the address is within an incorporated city to determine its sales tax rates in California.

Can I Use County and City to Determine Correct Sales Tax Rates in California?
No.

**City taxes only apply to areas within the respective incorporated city. If an address is in an un-incorporated area, city taxes do not apply. You should look for an address-based solution such as USgeocoder that can identify if the address is within an incorporated city to determine its sales tax rates in California.

Are Sales Tax Rates and Use Tax Rates the Same in California?
Yes

Does California Have Tax Codes for Tax Return Reporting Purpose?
Yes

Sales and Use Tax Rate Update Schedule in California:
Update Frequency: Quarterly
Last update: April 1, 2020

Does California Have an Origin-Based or Destination-Based Sales Tax Collection?
Mixed (state, county and city taxes are based on the origin, but district taxes are based on the destination.)

**Origin-based: sales tax is charged based on where the seller is located.
**Destination-based: sales tax is charged based on where the buy is located

Is California a Full Member of Streamlined State?
No

**A streamlined Full Member State is a state that has been found to be in compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) and its laws, rules, regulations, and policies and bring them into compliance are in effect. See details on Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board’s website

Does California Have Sales Tax Holidays?
No

Wayfair Sales Tax Implementation in California:
Sales Thresholds: $500,000
Transaction Threshold: none

Wayfair sales tax implementation applies to out-of-state sales, remote sales, Internet sales and online sales. See Details on https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/industry/wayfair.htm.

Does California Charge Sales Tax on Digital Goods?
Generally no

Does California Charge Sales Tax on Services?
Generally no unless they are an integral part of a taxable transfer of property.

Does California Charge Sales Tax on Shipping?
May apply. See details on https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/pub100/#applying

California State Sales and Use Tax Authority:
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA)
Website: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/

Other Resources:

  1. California District Sales and Use Tax Rates Published by CDTFA: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/cdtfa105.pdf
  2. Listing of California City and Unincorporated County Codes Published by CDTFA: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/cdtfa531fl1.pdf
  3. California Tax Matrix for Remote Sellers Published by CDTFA: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/cdtfa758.pdf
  4. California City and County Sales and Use Tax Rates Lookup by City Provided by CDTFA: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/taxes-and-fees/rates.aspx
  5. California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) News Updates: https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/news/#Notices-Newsletters

Looking for an Online Solution that provides real-time sales tax rates for your application? 

Try USgeocoder API. It provides all the information you will get from USgeocoder Live Demo.

USgeocoder live demo is free to use. You can use it to lookup sales and use tax rate information one address at a time. However if you have a large number of addresses and would like to save time, USgeocoder can do it for you through batch processing service.


SALES TAX BY STATE

CaliforniaNew York


DISCLAIMERS:

SALES AND USE TAX INFORMATION ON THIS BLOG REFERS TO THE GENERAL SALES OF TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY. IN MANY STATES, THERE ARE DIFFERENT RATES FOR RENTAL, LEASING, AND TANGIBLE ITEMS SUCH AS VEHICLE, EQUIPMENT, FOOD, OR CLOTHING. SOME STATES HAVE DIFFERENT SALES TAX RATES THAN USE TAX RATES. EACH STATE HAS ITS OWN RULES ON EXEMPTIONS. PLEASE REFER TO THE SALES AND USE TAX LAW OF INDIVIDUAL STATES FOR DETAILS.

USGEOCODER LLC IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN ANY MANNER. ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE IS PREPARED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR OWN TAX, LEGAL AND ACCOUNTING ADVISORS TO ADDRESS YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AND BEFORE ENGAGING IN ANY TRANSACTION RELATED TO SALES AND USE TAX.

March 15, 2020

Case Study: USPS Address Standardization for Non-Existing Secondary Address

How would you handle USPS Address Standardization for Non-Existing Secondary Address?

In United State Postal Service(USPS) system, there are different address types: S (street), P (PO Box), H (High-Rise), F (Firm), R (Rural), G (General Delivery). According to USPS, only “F” and “H” record types have secondary addresses. See details on USPS’s website: Address Information System Products Technical Guide (https://postalpro.usps.com/mnt/glusterfs/2020-02/AIS_Technical_Guide.pdf, page 27).

USgeocoder ran into an interesting case recently for USPS address standardization for secondary address.

Sample address:

200 Innovation Blvd, Suite 150
State College, PA 16803

According to USPS Online Lookup by Address tool, this is a “S” type of address. So it should not have a secondary address.

However according to USPS online tool, it standardizes this address to:

200 INNOVATION BLVD STE 150
STATE COLLEGE PA 16803-6602

Here is a screenshot from USPS online tool. You can see its record type is “S” and it should not have a secondary address. However USPS Online Tool standardizes the street address to “200 INNOVATION BLVD STE 150”.

USPS address standardization for secondary address


Now, if you change Suite 150 to Suite 10000000, a number that obviously does not exist, USPS online tool still returns “200 INNOVATION BLVD SUITE 10000000” as its standardized address. This shows that USPS simply changed the secondary address designator “Suite” to “STE” and added the original number to the standardized address output.

Here is the screenshot that shows the USPS result for input address “200 INNOVATION BLVD SUITE 10000000”:

USPS Address Standardization for Non-Existing Secondary Address


USgeocoder drops the secondary address if such address does not exit.

USgeocoder takes a different approach than USPS Online Tool.

As part of USgeocoder’s data service offerings, USgeocoder provides Address Standardization service using USPS and US Census standards. USgeocoder has the entire USPS address data installed in its system. However USgeocoder handles the non-existing secondary address differently than USPS does.

If an address is not a “F” or “H” record, USgeocoder considers it does not have a secondary address by USPS standards and drops the secondary address entirely. USgeocoder does not include the secondary address in the standardized address output.

In addition, for “F” and “H” records, USPS provides the number range for the secondary address. If the secondary address number is not within the range provided by USPS, USgeocoder also considers it’s a non-existing secondary address and excludes it from the standardized address output.

So for address:

200 Innovation Blvd, Suite 15
State College, PA 16803

USgeocoder standardizes it to:

200 INNOVATION BLVD
State College, PA 16803-6603

Now let’s try an address that does have an secondary address:

15001 SEARSTONE DR APT 308
Cary, NC 17513

This is a “H” record. It has different zip4s for different APT ranges:


USgeocoder standardizes it as “15001 SEARSTONE DR APT 308, 27513-8393”. As you can see, 8393 is the right zip4 for this secondary address.

If the input is “15001 Searstone Dr Apt 30800000, 27513”, USgeocoder drops “Apt 30800000” and returns “15001 SEARSTONE DR, 27513-8391” as its standardized address. 8391 is the zip4 for the primary address “15001 Searstone Dr”.

So the bottom line is if the address is not a “F” or “H” record, USgeocoder drops the secondary address and returns the zip4 for the primary address. With USPS online tool, it simply returns the secondary address from the original input if the secondary address does not exist.

Which approach would you take?

March 14, 2020

American FactFinder Address Lookup Vs. USgeocoder Address Lookup

American FactFinder Address Lookup Alternative – USgeocoder Address Lookup

Easier to use, more up-to-date, better coverage

US Census American FactFinder (AFF) will be taken offline on March 31, 2020. Are you looking for an American FactFinder address lookup alternative for geographic information? Try USgeocoder’s live demo: https://usgeocoder.com/api_live_demo.

USgeocoder live demo provides most geographic information that American FactFinder Address Lookup provides. It’s FREE to use! More important, it provides more up-to-date congressional and state legislative district information, and covers more addresses than American FactFinder does!

As with American FactFinder, USgeocoder Live demo performs address lookups however; users of both platforms tell us, USgeocoder is easier to use! Click here to learn more about how to use USgeocoder Live Demo as an American FactFinder alternative to search US Census geographies by address lookup.

In this article, you will learn the similarities and differences between the results produced by American FactFinder address lookup and USgeocoder address lookup.

American FactFinder Address Lookup Results Vs. USgeocoder Address Lookup Results

The US Census is one of the raw data sources USgeocoder uses. USgeocoder stores US Census data on its own cloud servers and updates it when the US Census issues a new release.

USgeocoder offers the following information formerly found via American FactFinder:

  1. County
  2. County Subdivision
  3. Municipality (Incorporated City)
  4. Census Block, Block Group, Tract
  5. MSA (Metro/Micro Statistical Area)
  6. Urban Area
  7. Congressional District
  8. State Legislative District (State Upper and Lower House Districts)
  9. Voting District
  10. School District
  11. 5 digit zip code

USgeocoder tailors its data offerings to customers’ needs. Some information is less in demand than the others. As such, the following information was returned on American FactFinder though not yet on USgeocoder:

  1. Region
  2. Division
  3. Principal City (or part) within State within Metro/Micro Statistical Area
  4. Metro Division Within Metro Statistical Area
  5. CSA
  6. MSA/CMSA
  7. PMSA within CMSA
  8. Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA)
  9. Economic Place

As one of the few OEM geocoders in the US, USgeocoder expertise is in location lookup and district matching utilizing its core geocoding technology. In addition to US census data, USgeocoder also integrates other data sources such as US Postal System (USPS) data, state and local boundary data, and tax rate data into its database. By utilizing this geocoding core technology, USgeocoder has extended its offerings beyond geographies. The following is information found on the USgeocoder website but not on American FactFinder:

  1. Geocodes (Latitude and longitude)
  2. Standardized Address per USPS or US Census standards
  3. Zip5+4 (Zip9)
  4. Carrier Route
  5. Elected Officials and their contact information, including National Senator, House of Representatives, State Executives (Governor, Lt. Governor, SOS, Treasurer, AG), State Senator and State House of Representatives.
  6. Sales and Use Tax Rate Information

The following are images showing the dataset provided by the current American FactFinder and USgeocoder as of March 7, 2020.

American FactFinder: https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/searchresults.xhtml?refresh=t#

Using USgeocoder as an alternative for American FactFinder


Following is image that shows the results for the same address on USgeocoder live demo: https://usgeocoder.com/api_live_demo

Using USgeocoder as American FactFinder Alternative


If USgeocoder live demo provides all the information you are looking for, it is definitely a great alternative tool to replace American FactFinder. For the more, USgeocoder provides more up-to-date information and more coverage than American FactFinder does.

USgeocoder provides more up-to-date congressional and state legislative district data than American FactFinder.

With American FactFinder as of March 7, 2020, the most recent congressional district is the 115th Congress. And the state legislative districts are for 2016.

Redistricting happens on a regular basis throughout the US. Here are the changes for congressional districts and state legislative districts since 2016.

116th Congress started on January 3, 2019. Congressional redistricting took place in Pennsylvania in 2018 and the new boundaries were used for the 116th Congress. See details on http://blog.usgeocoder.com/116th-congressional-district/

As a result, Pennsylvania has different congressional district boundaries than what it had for the 115th Congress. For example:

314 STATE ST, CLAIRTON, PA 15025
Old 115th Congressional District: 14
New 116th congressional District: 18

9027 TORRESDALE AVE, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19136
Old 115th Congressional District: 2
New 116th congressional District: 1

Likewise, state house redistricting took place in Virginia in 2019 and the new state house boundary has been in use since Jan 3, 2020. See details at http://blog.usgeocoder.com/new-virginia-state-lower-house-districts-using-zip-code-address/

Here are a couple of examples of the state house district changes for Virginia addresses:

11521 Coalboro Rd, Chesterfield, VA 23838
Old State Lower House District: 66
New State Lower House District: 63

9536 Dawnshire Rd, Richmond, VA 23237, USA
Old State Lower House District: 62
New State Lower House District: 70

USgeocoder covers more addresses than American FactFinder

Some 5-10% of the US addresses are not covered in the census database but in the US Postal System (USPS) database. USPS updates its database on a monthly basis. Census normally updates on a yearly basis. This means the US Census database is normally one year behind adding new addresses. Because USgeocoder also works with USPS data as well as state and local government agencies, it covers more addresses than US Census does.

For example: 3001 N AIRFIELD DR, Dallas, TX 75261

On American FactFinder, it’s showing “FactFinder was not able to locate the address you entered”.

USgeocoder Covers more addresses than American FactFinder

When users enter the same address on USgeocoder Live demo ( https://usgeocoder.com/api_live_demo), the address is not only located but returned with relevant supporting information.

In addition, USgeocoder also provides data for PO Box, Rural route, General Delivery services. These address types cannot form the basis of a search inquiry on American FactFinder.

For those who want to save time on searching or need to auto-populate geographic information in their apps…

The USgeocoder Live demo can lookup one address at a time at no charge. Otherwise, if you have a list of addresses or need to integrate lookups into an application, consider the USgeocoder fee-based batch processing and API services.

GIS Address Batch Process service

All you need to do is to provide your address file with street address and zip code information to USgeocoder in csv, excel or text format. USgeocoder will batch process your address file and send you the result file in its original format with the requested information appended to each address.

USgeocoder can also produce the same district information using latitude and longitude through batch processing.

Lead-time depends on the number of records and the quality of the addresses. The normal turn-around time for a 100,000 addresses record file is 1-2 business days.

For more information on how address batch processing works, please visit: https://usgeocoder.com/offer_data_processing

API Services

USgeocoder API auto-populates geographies information for any online application.

USgeocoder API users can access the USgeocoder engine using either a street address and its 5 digit zip cod , or geocodes (latitude and longitude) to obtain desired information for their online applications in real time.

For more information on how API works, please visit: https://usgeocoder.com/api_overview.

USgeocoder provides 100% privacy guaranteed.

USgeocoder is HIPAA, FERPA, RFPA, BSA, PATRIOT ACT, GDPR and all State’s Privacy Acts compliant. It was built from the ground up to make it impossible to scrape clients’ data. Clients’ data remain 100% confidential.

To learn more about USgeocoder capabilities, please visit: https://usgeocoder.com/about_us.

 

March 14, 2020

American FactFinder Address Lookup Alternative for Census Geographic Information

Using USgeocoder as an American FactFinder Address Lookup Alternative for Geographic Information

A simpler and easier way to search geographies by address lookup

American FactFinder, https://factfinder.census.gov/, a service of the US Census Bureau, will be discontinued as of March 31, 2020. Are you looking for an American FactFinder Address Lookup Alternative? USgeocoder continues to receive increasing inquiries from American FactFinder users seeking a viable and enhanced alternative solution.

The majority of FactFinder users used its “Advanced Search” to implement address lookups that return geographic information including county, municipality, congressional district, state legislative districts, census tract, and school districts.

American FactFinder offered lookup by list, lookup by name, lookup by address, and lookup by map options. Most data previously released on American FactFinder is now being released on U.S. Census Bureau’s new dissemination platform, data.census.gov.

However, on this new platform, “lookup by address” and “lookup by map” options are not available. Some users also inform USgeocoder that the new US Census platform is hard to use and are having difficulty finding the information they want.

USgeocoder Live demo offers geographic information with map display by address lookup

Users of USgeocoder can obtain the majority of the geographic information provided by American FactFinder by using the USgeocoder Live demo. https://usgeocoder.com/api_live_demo. (Learn more about American FactFinder Results vs. USgeocoder results.)

USgeocoder is a GIS (Geographic Information System) platform providing location lookup and district matching services. The USgeocoder core competency is to locate any physical address, identify its latitude and longitude, and then query continually updated district maps to deliver political districts from federal to local. Such queries return related information including elected officials, census geographies, and sales and use tax rates.

As with American FactFinder, USgeocoder Live demo performs address lookups however; users of both platforms tell us, USgeocoder is easier to use!

For example, instead of entering street address, city, state and zip code in FactFnder, USgeocoder users need only enter the street address and the zip 5 of interest. See this now in the USgeocoder Live demo: https://usgeocoder.com/api_live_demo.


Using USgeocoder for American FactFinder Address Lookup


After you press the “Free Lookup” button, a new window opens with the information about the input address on the left and a map on the right. The location of the input address is marked on the map.


USgeocoder Live Demo for American FactFinder


You will see on the left under the “About This Address” tab, the information grouped in 6 categories:

  1. Standardized Address
  2. Geolocation Codes
  3. Zip Codes & Mail Delivery
  4. District & Elected Officials
  5. Census Geography
  6. Sales and Use Tax Rates

Click on each category to expand the category and see related information for the address that was input. The information you would get from American FactFinder is in the “District & Elected Officials” and “Census Geography” groups. So if this is the information you need, USgeocoder live demo is a great American FactFinder Address Lookup Alternative for you!

When you click on the “Map Layer & Legend” tab, you will see the options to turn on and turn off the base map, political district, and census geographic layers:

  1. Transportation Network
  2. Water Features
  3. Land Marks
  4. State
  5. County
  6. Un-/Incorporated
  7. Tribal Lands
  8. Federal Public Lands
  9. Military Installations
  10. 116th Congressional District
  11. 115th Congressional District
  12. State Upper House 2020
  13. State Lower House 2020
  14. State Upper House 2019
  15. State Lower House 2019
  16. County Subdivision
  17. Voting Precinct
  18. School Disricts
  19. Census Block
  20. Census 2000 Block
  21. Block Group
  22. Census Tract
  23. MSA
  24. Urban Area

USgeocoder Live Demo for American FactFinder Map Lookup

Lookup American FactFinder geographic information for FREE using the USgeocoder Live Demo!

American FactFinder users are asking “What’s the cost of using USgeocoder Live Demo?”

The answer is “Free!”

The USgeocoder Live demo is a place where users can discover the data types and information capabilities USgeocoder provides. The company’s existing clients have all used this demo to test USgeocoder accuracy before contacting a representative.

USgeocoder Live demo is a free lookup tool to lookup one address at a time. So if you need an online tool to search geographies for specific addresses, USgeocoder live demo works really well as an American FactFinder Address Lookup Alternative.

However if you have a large number of addresses and would like to save time, USgeocoder can batch process the file for you for a fee.

If you are looking for a service like American FactFinder API to integrate the data in your application, the USgeocoder API service can seamlessly replace it: https://usgeocoder.com/api_overview. Every piece of information shown in the live demo can be handled via batch processing and API.

USgeocoder Provides 100% Privacy Guaranteed.

USgeocoder is HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) & RFPA (Right to Financial Privacy Act) compliant. USgeocoder does not scrape, resell, market, share or store any client data. They guarantee client proprietary data remains 100% confidential

For more information on how batch processing and USgeocoder API, call 1-888-938-6732, chat with a USgeocoder team member via live chat, or reach out using this page: https://usgeocoder.com/contact_us. USgeocoder will reply within 24 hours.

To learn more about the similarities and differences between American FactFinder and USgeocoder Address lookup results, please visit: http://blog.usgeocoder.com/american-factfinder-address-lookup-alternative-usgeocoder/.

December 16, 2019

Match Your Constituents’ Addresses to New 2020 Virginia State Lower House Districts

Your Virginia’s constituents’ state lower house districts may have been changed for 2020 session

The newly elected Virginia House of Delegates is based on the redrawn boundaries for the new Virginia state lower house districts. This redistricting affects 25 districts. An estimated 425,000 voters from Richmond to Virginia Beach have been moved into the new House of Delegates districts.

2019 Virginia state lower house redistricting
Notice how, with the examples below, redistricting has changed not only the district number but the party representing it:

4302 Old Courthouse Way, Newport News, VA 23602
Current: District 95 Democrat: Marcia S. (Cia) Price
Starting January 1, 2020: District 94   Republican: David E. Yancey

1016 Greenbrier Pkwy, Chesapeake, VA 23320
Current: District 78 Republican: James A. (Jay) Leftwich
Starting January 1, 2020: District 77 Democrat: C. E. (Cliff) Hayes

On November 18, 2019, as the legislative window opened for the 2020 General Assembly session in Virginia, Democratic lawmakers had filed bills for voting rights, gun control, LGBTQ protections and the ERA. The new House of Delegates convenes on January 8, 2020. So, if you want to make the voice of your membership heard on any of these contentious issues (by leveraging their constituent-representative relationships), you will need to make sure they know what new state lower house district they live in and who in the House of Delegates will be representing them. With January 8th, 2020 coming soon, there is an added sense of urgency to act now.

Match Your Constituents to the New Virginia State Lower House Districts by Address, 5 Digit Zip Code and 9 Digit Zip Code

Thankfully, USgeocoder already has the Virginia House of Delegates redistricted data ready. You can get your members’ addresses matched to the new state house delegates in real time via our API service. We also provide batch processing service to geocode your address records and append new state lower house district information to each one.

Besides providing the state lower house district information by address, we also provide the state house delegate district information by 5-digit zip code and 9-digit zip code.

Share with us how you want to make use of this data and we can propose the best approach for your needs. Call toll free 1-888-938-6732 or describe your request in more detail at https://usgeocoder.com/contact_us.

 

April 2, 2019

How to collect the new Unincorporated Area sales and use tax in California?

California New Sales and Use Tax Effective April 1, 2019

When we were thinking CA sales tax couldn’t get any more complicated, we were wrong!

For the first time ever, California now has a new district sales and use tax that only applies to an un-incorporated area within a county. Voters in County of Santa Cruz has approved a “Santa Cruz County Unincorporated Area Transactions and Use Tax” for 0.50% operative April 1, 2019. Voters in Yuba County also approved a same tax named “Yuba County Unincorporated Area Transactions and Use Tax” for 1% however this one is subject to pending litigation. Such tax only applies to areas that are not within an incorporated cities. It does not affect the rate that applies in incorporated cities within the these counties either.

Some people are confused about this un-incorporated tax with the county-wide tax. County-wide tax applies to every address within the county. The un-incorporated tax is only for areas that are not within the boundaries of any incorporated cities within the county.  We consider this “un-incorported tax” as a special district tax because it is not a county-wide tax. Neither it is an incorporated city tax because these un-incorporated areas are not within any incorporated city.

So how to determine if an address is in an incorporated city or not?

The only way to accurately determine it is to find out if such address is within the incorporated city boundary. Incorporated city is also called Municipality. USgeocoder has the incorporated city boundaries for the entire US. When you send an address to our geocoder, it first tries to geocode the address and find out where this address is located on the map, then by querying the incorporated city mapping database, We know exactly whether the address falls in a particular incorporated city boundary or not. If you want to know more about how to find the municipality by address, here is another blog article explains it in full details with real life examples.

For an address you have, mostly of the time it’s a mailing address issued by US Postal Office. The city in the address could be a mailing city only, which has nothing to do with incorporated city. So the “City” name in your address might not necessary be the name of its municipality. Usgeocoder uses street address and a five digit zip code to determine the municipality of an address. If it’s in a particular municipality, it provides the name of the municipality; If it’s not in a particular municipality, it will provide “Unincorporated” as the value for the given address.

Sometime every address within a mailing city is in un-incorpoted area, for example, addresses in city of Aptos in Santa Cruz county are all in un-incorporated areas. However for the incorporated city of Santa Cruz, some areas within Santa Cruz city are outside of the incorporated city boundary. They are just having Santa Cruz as a mailing city for US Postal Office mail person to deliver mail to. For these un-incorporated areas with “Santa Cruz” as their mailing city, there is no other way but using geocoding technology to find out whether they are within the incorporated city limit or not.

How to correctly calculate sales and use tax rate?

USgeocoder API offers realtime sales tax rate for every address in California. The formula we use is statewide tax rate + countywide tax rate + incorporated citywide tax rate + special district tax rate. You can take a test drive with our live demo by entering a California street address and zip code, press “Free Lookup” and see the sales and use tax rate information for the input address.

Click here to learn more about how to correctly calculate the California Sales Tax Rate Using Geo-based technology.

February 19, 2019

Selling into California? Prepare to collect and pay California use tax starting April 1, 2019

On December 11, 2018, The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) announced that beginning April 1, 2019, out-of-state retailers selling above $100,000 or 200 more separate transactions of tangible items into California during the preceding or current calendar year will be required to collect California use tax on their sales into California. 

The new collection requirement is California’s interpretation of its Revenue and Taxation Code (RTC) section 6203 (section 6203) (Stats. 2011, ch. 313, § 3) and the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 21, 2018, decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. (Wayfair) (Dock. No. 17-494).

What is the California use tax am I required to collect?

California tax rate is equal to state-wide tax plus district tax. The state-wide tax is 7.25% which consist of 6% state tax and 1.25% local tax. District taxes may be imposed by counties or municipalities (also known as incorporated cities, click here to learn more about municipalities). District tax rates are different from county to county and municipality to municipality. If you sold more than $100,000 or 200 separate transactions into a particular municipality or county in 2018 or current calendar year, you are required to collect the district tax for the respective municipality or county starting April 1, 2019. If you sell below $100,000 or fewer than 200 separate transaction, you are only required to collect the state-wide 7.25% use tax.

Here is an example given by by CDTFA:

You are located outside of California and have no physical presence in this state. You make sales through your website and prior to April 1, 2019, you were not required to be registered with the CDTFA. However, during 2018, your sales of merchandise into California exceeded $200,000. You ship all sales to your customers by common carrier. Of those sales, over $100,000 were made for delivery into the city of San Jose which imposes a district tax; the remaining sales were made for delivery throughout the state and the sales did not exceed $100,000 in any other area in California.

Under the Wayfair decision, you are considered engaged in business in California and required to register with the CDTFA and collect the use tax at the statewide rate on your retail sales to California customers on and after April 1, 2019. In addition, you are also considered engaged in business in the city of San Jose (a taxing district) because your 2018 sales exceeded $100,000 into that district. As such you are required to collect San Jose’s district use tax at the San Jose rate from your customers on your sales for delivery in the city of San Jose and pay the entire tax collected to the CDTFA. If your sales into other areas in California do not exceed $100,000 or equal 200 or more separate transactions during the preceding or current calendar year and you are not otherwise considered engaged in business in any other district, you are only required to collect the statewide rate of 7.25 percent from your customers on your sales for delivery into those areas.

Which way is easier? Keep tracking the amount of sales and number of transactions for each district or simply collect the California use tax for all districts?

There are 58 counties and 482 municipalities (incorporated cities) in California. California’s sales and use tax range from 7.25%-10.25%, depending on which districts you ship the goods to. Santa Monica and long beach in LA County are among the cities with 10.25% tax rate. Bakersfield in Kern county and Chico in Butte county do not have any district taxes. They are among the incorporated cities with no additional tax added to the state 7.25% tax rate.  

To meet the new use tax collection requirements, you have two ways to collect and report California use tax.

One is to keep track of the amount of sales and number of transactions shipped to each district, if no sales exceeds $100,000 or 200 separate transactions in a given calendar year, you are only required to collect state-wide 7.25% use tax. If sales into a particular district, including county or municipality, goes over $100,000 or 200 separate transactions in a given calendar year, you will need to collect the state-wide 7.25% plus the district tax for the respective municipality or county. The pros of doing this way is that you don’t need to charge your customers the extra 0.25%-3% and leave that responsibility to your customers. In addition, you only need to report the district tax for the districts that you made over $100,000 or 200 separate transactions on your tax return. The cons is that you will need to keep an eye of the sales for each county and municipality.  

The other way to do it is to simply collect the use tax for all districts. Regardless the amount of sales you make to each district, you always collect the state-wide use tax and the district use tax. The pros of this method is that you don’t need to keep track of the sales and the number of transactions of the items you sold to each district, you simply charge your customer the tax rate based on the destination like you had a retail store at that location. You collect the state-wide use tax and whatever the district use tax the designation has. The cons of this method is that if your sales is spread out all over California, you could end up reporting the individual district tax for up to 482 municipalities on your tax return.  

How much is California use tax rate?

Regardless which way you will go to collect California use tax, unless you only need to collect 7.25% state and local taxes, you need to know the district tax rate of the destination to which you ship the tangible items. In addition, if an address is in an un-incorporated area, district tax does not apply. So you will need to know whether the address you ship the goods to is in an incorporated city or not.

USgeocoder provides the exact information you need. We provide the total tax rate with the break-down of the state-wide, county and city tax rates so you will have an easier time to file your sales tax returns. With GIS technology, USgeocoder is able to identity if the ship-to address is in an incorporated city or not and calculates the tax rate accordingly. USgeocoder offers 2 different ways to calculate sales tax: Mandatory Collection method and Total Collection method. With Mandatory Collection method, you get the tax rates for what you are required to collect. With Total Collection method, you get the tax rates based on the destination.

For details how these two modules work, please visit: https://usgeocoder.com/api_salestax. The information is provided in API, you can integrate the API into your online shopping cart or other online applications and get realtime California use tax rates. You can also send us an address file, we will batch process the file and append the California use tax rate information for each address. 

December 11, 2018

116th Congressional District Changes

116th Congressional Districts vs. 115th Congressional Districts

The 115th United States Congress is in its last month. The new 116th Congress will be in session starting January 1/3/2019. The only change in congressional districts is in the state of Pennsylvania.

On February 19, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a new congressional map, to take effect for the May 15, 2018, primaries. The districts in the Court’s map were significantly more compact, and its map split fewer municipalities and counties than the prior Republican-drawn map. Click here to learn more. This new congressional map will be used for 116th congress for the state of Pennsylvania.

We recently did a project for a customer to match the 5 digit zip codes in the state of Pennsylvania to their new 116th congressional districts. We learned that among 2140 zip codes, only 50 zip codes in the following congressional districts have the same congressional districts as before. The rest of PA’s zip codes are now in different congressional districts.

  • 16 zip codes in congressional district 18
  • 32 zip codes in congressional district 6
  • 2 zip codes in congressional district 2

You can see it’s essential to refresh your address file for the 116th congressional district for the state of PA. For those who do the annual refresh, the district data is available now. The newly elected Congress members will be in place near or on January 03, 2019. By mid February 2019, our database should be updated with the new committee assignments made in January.

What Can We Do To Update Your Data for 116th Congressional Districts

  1. Provide the data via batch processing, available now! All you need to do is to send us the address file with the street address and 5 digit zip codes in csv or excel, we will batch process the entire file by geocoding each address, identifying its 116th congressional districts, appending the district name for each address and sending the result file back to you.
  2. Starting January 3, 2019, we will be providing the real time 116th congressional districts via live API by default. If you need the information earlier via API, we can also make it happen for you.
  3. Our batch service and API service provide the congressional district data by address, which is more accurate than the zip code-based matching for congressional districts. However if you are looking for zip5-to-116th congressional district and zip9-to-116th congressional district data files, we can also provide them.

Got more questions? Please call us at 1.888.938.6732,  send us a web inquiry or come to our live chat room!

December 23, 2017

2018 United States Election Schedule

2018 United States Election Schedule by Month and by State

The 2018 United States elections will mostly be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. These midterm elections will take place in the middle of Republican President Donald J. Trump’s term. All 435 seats in the United State House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be up for election. 36 state governorships will also be contested.

Among 35 US senate seats up for election in 2018, 24 currently held by Democrats, 2 by independents who caucus with the Senate Democrats, and 9 by Republican.

Election dates and deadlines vary across the country and at different levels of government. We have put together a 2018 United States Election Schedule By State and 2018 United States Election Schedule By Month for United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, special United States Congress and United States state governor elections.

To find out the incumbent and his/her contact information for a particular state or an address, you can use USgeocoder free lookup tool.  After you enter an address and its 5 digit zip code, USgeocoder will tell you the information on National Senators, House of Rep and State Governor, Lt. Governor for the input address.

Source: AP and Wikipedia
Last Updated: March 21, 2018

December 22, 2017

2018 United States Election Schedule By Month

2018 United States Election Schedule By Month

Last Updated: March 21, 2018


S = Senate race    H = House races    G = Governor’s race
Democratic incumbent marked in blue  Republican incumbent marked in red  Independent incumbent marked in teal
Special election marked in purple
Underlined if Incumbent not running


To find out the incumbent and his/her contact information for a particular state or an address, you can use USgeocoder free lookup tool.  After you enter an address and its 5 digit zip code, USgeocoder will tell you the information on National Senators, House of Rep and State Governor, Lt. Governor for the input address.

Want to keep track of the 2018 Elections by State? Click here to see the election schedule for each state.



February, 2018
2/20/18  Wisconsin  Spring Primary
2/27/18  Arizona  8th District Special Primary

March, 2018
3/6/18  Texas  Primary (G,S,H)
3/13/18  Pennsylvania  18th District Special Election
3/20/18  Illinois  Primary (G,H)

April, 2018
4/3/18  Wisconsin  Spring Election
4/24/18  Arizona  8th District Special Election

May, 2018
5/8/18  Indiana  Primary (S,H)
5/8/18  North Carolina  Primary (H)
5/8/18  Ohio  Primary (G,S,H)
5/8/18  West Virginia  Primary (S,H)
5/15/18  Idaho  Primary (G,H)
5/15/18  Nebraska  Primary (G,S,H)
5/15/18  Oregon  Primary (G,H)
5/15/18  Pennsylvania  Primary (G,S,H)
5/22/18  Arkansas  Primary (G,H)
5/22/18  Kentucky  Primary (H)
5/22/18  Georgia Primary (G,H)
5/22/18  Texas  Primary Runoff

June, 2018
6/5/18  Alabama  Primary (G,H)
6/5/18  California  Primary (G,S,H)
6/5/18  Iowa  Primary (G,H)
6/5/18  Mississippi  Primary (S,S,H)
6/5/18  Montana  Primary (S,H)
6/5/18  New Jersey  Primary (S,H)
6/5/18  New Mexico   Primary (G,S,H)
6/5/18  South Dakota Primary (G,H)
6/12/18  Maine  Primary (G,S,H)
6/12/18  Nevada  Primary (G,S,H)
6/12/18  North Dakota  Primary (S,H)
6/12/18  South Carolina  Primary (G,H)
6/12/18  Virginia  Primary (S,H)
6/19/18  Arkansas  Primary Runoff
6/19/18  D.C.  Primary
6/26/18  Colorado  Primary (G,H)
6/26/18  Maryland  Primary (G,S,H)
6/26/18  Mississippi  Primary Runoff
6/26/18  New York  Federal Primary (S,H)
6/26/18  North Carolina  Primary Runoff if there are not federal races included
6/26/18  Oklahoma  Primary (G,H)
6/26/18  South Carolina  Primary Runoff
6/26/18  Utah  Primary (S,H)

July 2018
7/17/18  North Carolina  Primary Runoff if there are federal races included
7/24/18  Georgia  Primary Runoff

August, 2018
8/2/18  Tennessee  Primary (G,S,H)
8/7/18  Kansas  Primary (G,H)
8/7/18  Michigan  Primary (G,S,H)
8/7/18  Missouri  Primary (S,H)
8/7/18  Washington  Primary (S,H)
8/11/18  Hawaii  Primary (G,S,H)
8/11/18  South Dakota  Primary Runoff
8/11/18  Vermont  Primary (G,S,H)
8/14/18  Connecticut  Primary (G,S,H)
8/14/18  Minnesota  Primary (G,S,S,H)
8/14/18  Wisconsin  Primary (G,S,H)
8/21/18  Alaska  Primary (G,H)
8/21/18  Wyoming  Primary (G,S,H)
8/28/18  Arizona  Primary (G,S,H)
8/28/18  Florida  Primary (G,S,H)
8/28/18  Oklahoma  Primary Runoff

September, 2018
9/6/18  Delaware  Primary (S,H)
9/11/18  New Hampshire  Primary (G,H)
9/11/18  Rhode Island Primary (G,S,H)
9/13 /18 New York  Primary (G)
9/18/18  Massachusetts  Primary (G,S,H)

November, 2018
11/6/18 General Election
11/6/18 Louisiana Primary (H)

December, 2018
12/4/18  Georgia  General Election Runoff
12/8/18  Louisiana  General Election

January, 2019
1/8/19  Georgia  Federal General Election Runoff

 

December 20, 2017

2018 United States Election Schedule By State

2018 United States Election Schedule By State

Source: AP and Wikipedia
Last Updated: March 21, 2018


S = Senate race    H = House races    G = Governor’s race
Democratic incumbent marked in blue  Republican incumbent marked in red  Independent incumbent marked in teal
Special election marked in purple
Underlined if Incumbent not running


To find out the incumbent and his/her contact information for a particular state or an address, you can use USgeocoder free lookup tool.  After you enter an address and its 5 digit zip code, USgeocoder will tell you the information on National Senators, House of Rep and State Governor, Lt. Governor for the input address.

Want to keep track of the 2018 Elections by Month? Click here to see the election schedule by month.


Alabama
6/5/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Alaska
8/21/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Arizona
2/27/18  8th District Special Primary
4/24/18  8th District Special Election
8/28/18 Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Arkansas
5/22/18  Primary (G,H)
6/19/18  Primary Runoff
11/6/18  General Election

California
6/5/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Colorado
6/26/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Connecticut
8/14/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

D.C.
6/19/18  Primary
11/6/18  General Election

Delaware
9/6/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Florida
8/28/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Georgia
5/22/18  Primary (G,H)
7/24/18  Primary Runoff
11/6/18  General Election
12/4/18  General Election Runoff
1/8/19  Federal General Election Runoff

Hawaii
8/11/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Idaho
5/15/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Illinois
3/20/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Indiana
5/8/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Iowa
6/5/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Kansas
8/7/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Kentucky
5/22/18  Primary (H)
11/6/18  General Election

Louisiana
11/6/18  Primary (H)
12/8/18  General Election

Maine
6/12/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Maryland
6/26/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Massachusetts
9/18/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Michigan
8/7/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Minnesota
8/14/18  Primary (G,S,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Mississippi
6/5/18  Primary (S,S,H)
6/26/18  Primary Runoff
11/6/18  General Election

Missouri
8/7/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Montana
6/5/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Nebraska
5/15/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Nevada
6/12/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

New Hampshire
9/11/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

New Jersey
6/5/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

New Mexico
6/5/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

New York
6/26/18  Federal Primary (S,H)
9/13/18  Primary (G)
11/6/18  General Election

North Carolina
5/8/18  Primary (H)
6/26/18  Primary Runoff if there are not federal races included
7/17/18  Primary Runoff if there are federal races included
11/6/18  General Election

North Dakota
6/12/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Ohio
5/8/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Oklahoma
6/26/18  Primary (G,H)
8/28/18  Primary Runoff
11/6/18  General Election

Oregon
5/15/18  Primary (G,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Pennsylvania
3/13/18  18th District Special Election
5/15/18 Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Rhode Island
9/11/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

South Carolina
6/12/18  Primary (G,H)
6/26/18  Primary Runoff
11/6/18  General Election

South Dakota
6/5/18  Primary (G,H)
8/11/18  Primary Runoff
11/6/18  General Election

Tennessee
8/2/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Texas
3/6/18  Primary (G,S,H)
5/22/18  Primary Runoff
11/6/18  General Election

Utah
6/26/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Vermont
8/11/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Virginia
6/12/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Washington
8/7/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

West Virginia
5/8/18  Primary (S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Wisconsin
2/20/18  Spring Primary
4/3/18  Spring Election
8/14/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

Wyoming
8/21/18  Primary (G,S,H)
11/6/18  General Election

September 20, 2017

Why It’s Worthless to Use a Postal Zip Code to Determine Its Municipality

Municipality is a city or town that has corporate status and local government. Some people are under the impression that we can find out the municipality from postal zip code. This is wrong.

Postal zip codes were created for the post office 

Postal zip codes were developed for only one purpose, creating a computer readable code for the post office from which letter carriers carried a letter from the station to the addressee. The first computerized character readers could only read a fixed width string of numerical characters. Cities and towns have variable length names, thus precluding the simple solution of an automated system reading the name of the city. Also, some cities had several post offices, so simply reading a city name would not answer the query, to which post office does this letter go so it can be found by a letter carrier and carried to the addressee? To get around these limitations a 5 digit numeric code was developed for each post office, the Zip code.

Postal zip codes may not represent the same city that the mail goes to

The first digit represents the region of the country to which the mail goes, such as Northeast, Great Lakes, or Pacific. The first 3 digits represent the major sorting facility to which the mail pieces go. For instance, 951xx means the mail is sorted at Lundy Avenue sorting facility in San Jose and is distributed to post offices in San Jose, California. 950xx means the mail will be delivered to addresses in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Contra Costa, Monterey, and additional counties in North Central California, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. The full five digits equals the name of the post office from which mail travels to the final delivery point.

But the name of the post office may or may not be the name of the city in which the address the letter going to is. For instance, the Los Gatos, California Post Office delivers mail to 95030, 95031, 95032, and 95033. 95033 is entirely outside the city of Los Gatos. In fact, almost two thirds of the addresses in 95033 are outside the county in which the city of Los Gatos is found. 95030 serves both Los Gatos and the entire neighboring town of Monte Sereno. Many towns, like Monte Sereno, California don’t have their own post office, so they don’t get a town zip code. For some post offices in Alaska, their service areas, and thus their Zip Codes cover areas larger than the state of Connecticut.

Many postal zip codes’ mailing cities may not even exist.

Many “mailing cities” meaning the name of the post office, are not named after cities or towns at all. For instance, 95464 for Nice, 95426 for Cobb, and 95458 for Lucerne in California’s Lake County are mailing cities, but no such town or city government actually exists. They are just unincorporated areas within Lake County California. In sum, the cities associated with a Postal Zip Code may or may not exist. There is no way from a postal Zip Code to know.

For the reasons above stated, if the municipality does exist, there is no way from the postal Zip code to know if the street, within the zip code is within the boundaries of the named “mailing city” associated with the Zip Code. But it gets worse. In most areas outside of New England, cities and towns are full of “unincorporated holes”. In San Jose California, for instance, multiple blocks are county islands surrounded by the City of San Jose.  The zip code for the city does not stop at any of these borders but continues through that post office’s service area. For this reason, even when the post office’s mailing city is unique to a single post office and shares the name of an actual city or town, it is impossible, from merely the 5 digit zip code, to determine if an address is within or without that municipality’s borders.

Postal zip codes and Municipality boundaries are independent from each other.

While postal zip code was developed for Postal Office, municipality was formed by voters living in a particular area within a county. Once a municipality is formed, county will recognize its boundaries and send such information to the state. State then reports the municipality boundary information to US Census who records it and publishes it. As you can see, postal zip code is created in a different way than municipality. USgeocoder has mapped out the physical address of the entire United States and the municipality. Once USgeocoder identifies the latitude and longitude of an address, it will be able to locate its municipality. Click here to learn more about how USgeocoder technology works.

To find out the municipality of a particular address, you can use USgeocoder’s free municipality lookup tool on: https://usgeocoder.com/api_live_demo, simply enter the street address and the zip code, it will tell you its municipality along with other district information.

July 22, 2017

Physical Address vs. Mailing address and when it matters

Mailing address standards and physical address standards are the two address standards in the US.

In the USA, there are two standards for addresses: mailing address that address standardizationUS Postal Service standards for mail delivery, and physical location for everything else. Physical address of a location includes US Census Bureau Standardization for anything to do with advocating or interacting with any government entity. It’s the only standard for insuring delivery of services to the 15% of the US population who cannot receive mail where they live.

Mailing address and physical address are not always the same. This blog will show you how to find out if an address is a mailing address or a physical (real) address but does not receive mail, and how to know whether you need mailing addresses only, real (i.e. physical) addresses only, or both for your organization and mission to succeed.

The differences between mailing address and physical address

The Post Office names for cities are the name of the city or local name for the unincorporated area of the county in which the post offices that deliver the mail are located; not the name of the jurisdiction in which the physical address sits. But the Jurisdiction of where the address sits (also known as municipality) is the real address for all government purposes, especially advocating for your cause, all tax purposes, all land development purposes, building purposes, and all home and commercial mortgage regulation and programs.

For instance, the entirety of zip code 95033 states mail there is delivered to Los Gatos, California. But in fact, it is delivered outside the Town of Los Gatos in portions of the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties in California. The real address for the mailing address 21850 Bear Creek Road, Los Gatos, 95033-9438 is 21850 Bear Creek Rd, Santa Cruz County, CA 95033, more than 3 miles away from Los Gatos.

Here is another example, for the entire zip code of Nice, California, 95464, there is no city or town of Nice. Nice was the name given to the post office at the insistence of the local chamber of commerce and realtors because they thought Nice was so nice it should become a city or town. But the people of Nice think the area is too nice to have its own municipal government. So all mailing addresses in Nice California are actually to the unincorporated area along the north shore of Clearlake in Lake County, CA. For address 3565 Beynon St. Nice CA 95464, it is actually 3565 Beynon St., Lake County, CA 95464   When you enter 3565 Beynon St, Nice CA address in google or bing maps, you only get the mailing address if the address were to get mail, which as we’ve just seen, is not always the case. If you want to confirm if that address actually gets mail, use https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction_input, and you’ll get the message “Unfortunately, this address wasn’t found” which means the post office does not deliver to it and does not have it in its records.

If you want to get the actual, or physical address which is the address for all government purposes, including matching people to their Congress people or state representatives, determining how much sales tax you need to charge, what school district they are in, whether they are eligible for any special government sponsored lending or mortgage program, or to which planning department you need to go to pull a construction permit, just enter the address into our free live demo on https://usgeocoder.com/api_live_demo and look for the “Municipal” result. Let’s look at three examples using https://USgeocoder.com.

Sample one: 18041 Saratoga-Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Physical Address Vs Mailing Address

What USgeocoder is telling you in the standardized address that the address is identified as being within the territory served by the USPS office in Los Gatos, CA, but the lack of a zip+4 value shows USPS does not deliver to that address. You can see at the bottom left that the address is in the county of Santa Clara in the municipality of Monte Sereno. So it’s address for all government and regulatory purposes is 18041 Saratoga-Los Gatos Rd, Monte Sereno, CA 95030. The city hall address for Monte Sereno, CA is in fact 18041 Saratoga-Los Gatos Rd, Monte Sereno, CA. If the owner needs to pull a building permit, he’ll have to go to the Monte Sereno planning department, not Los Gatos planning department.

Now let’s see what the physical address is for mailing address 21850 Bear Creek Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033:

Screen Shot 2017-07-22 at 12.22.04 PM (2)

What USgeocoder is telling you is that the address receives its mail (notice the zip+4 95033 – 9438 in the standardized address section) through the Los Gatos post office. The municipality of this address is “un-incorporated which means The physical address for all government purposes is 21850 Bear Creek Rd, Santa Cruz County, CA 95033. Los Gatos is over four miles away in the county of Santa Clara!

If you click on the map legend, and then check the boxes for State Lower House 2017, you can see that the state house district is 29, not 28 which serves Los Gatos. The deep purple line is the border between Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. If the resident needs police services, he will receive it from the Santa Cruz county sheriff, not Los Gatos police department. To write his state assemblyman or state senator, he needs his physical Santa Cruz County address.

Physical Address Vs. Mailing Address

Want to find out if the mailing address is the same as physical address for a particular address? Just enter the address and the 5 digit zip code in our live demo https://usgeocoder.com/api_live_demo to find out!

March 27, 2017

Where are the internet job opportunities?

Internet employment statistic reveals where the internet job opportunities are…

Revealed! Secret Geographic Hubs for Internet jobs…

For Americans earning a living in the well-known Internet job hubs, you may have had your fill of rain in Seattle and Tacoma, or the crazy cost of living in the San Francisco Bay, or the relentless heat in Texas summers, or the slush of Boston winters. A map holds the key to where new Internet job opportunities are.

On March 16, 2017, Harvard Business School Professor John Deighton published his third study on the Economic Value of the Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem: https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Economic-Value-Study-2017-FINAL2.pdf.

Dr. Deighton hired USgeocoder to map the Internet economy to illustrate the dispersion of Internet jobs across the US by congressional district. The following maps appear on pages 108, 109 of his report:

Internet job opportunities by congressional district

Metro Cities Internet Job Opportunities by Congressional Districts

 

The usual places we think of as having Internet jobs do turn up as expected, shaded in black.

And now for the unlikely suspects you probably weren’t thinking of…

Western Idaho. Really? Yes, really.

Montana? Sure enough.

Southern New Mexico? You heard it here first.

Western New Hampshire? Yep, even in the Northeast.

Wow, if you like the great outdoors, these are some of the best places to live in the US!

So where do you want to live today?

March 14, 2017

CA Sales Tax Rate Increase Operative April 1, 2017

New CA Sales Tax Rate Changes Effective April, 1, 2017

California voters in many counties and cities approved sales tax rate increases in the November 2016 general election.  No city or county sales tax rates decreased in California. Higher sales tax rates will start in 43 cities and 7 counties in California on April 1, 2017. To see if you will be charged higher sales taxes, go to our Online Demo starting April 1.

Have you ever wondered where the highest and lowest sales tax rates in California will be as of this April? Here are some interesting numbers when the new CA sales tax rates become operative on April 1, 2017:

California’s sales tax rate of 7.25% applies to every address in the state. Counties and cities might have their own sales taxes on top of the California sales tax. The highest sales tax rate with California state, county and city sales tax rates combined is 9.75%.  Starting 4/1/17 you’ll be charged 9.75% sales tax if you buy anything within these CA cities:

Union City
San Leandro
Newark
Hayward
Albany
South Gate
Santa Monica
Pico Rivera
Lynwood
Long Beach
La Mirada
Compton
El Cerrito

Among California’s 58 counties, Alameda county charges the highest county sales tax at 2%. Here are the counties with 1% or more sales tax rates:

Alameda county: 2%
Santa Clara county: 1.75%
Los Angeles county: 1.5%
San Mateo county: 1.5%
Santa Cruz county: 1.25%
San Francisco county: 1.25%
Contra Costa county: 1%
Marin county: 1%

The city with the highest city sales tax is Greenfield. These cities levy 1.25% or more on sales:

Greenfield: 1.75%
Salinas: 1.5%
Del Rey Oaks: 1.50%
Lakeport: 1.50%
Clearlake: 1.5%
El Cerrito: 1.5%
Stockton: 1.25%
Nevada City: 1.25%

Counties that do not have county sales tax

Among California’s 58 counties, the following 25 counties do not charge any sales tax. However some cities inside these counties charge sales tax:

Alpine
Butte
Calaveras
Colusa
El Dorado
Glenn
Kern
Kings
Lake
Lassen
Modoc
Mono
Placer
Plumas
San Benito
San Luis Obispo
Shasta
Siskiyou
Sutter
Tehama
Trinity
Tuolumne
Ventura
Yolo
Yuba

Do you know that if an address is not inside an incorporated city limit, the city sales tax does not apply? For instance, the City of Davis has 1% city sales tax, 0% county sales tax (Yolo county does not have county district tax) and 7.25% state sales tax. If you live in an un-incorporated area with Davis as your mailing city, you won’t need to pay for 1% sales tax to the city of Yolo.  Click here to learn more about how to correctly calculate Sales Tax Rates for unincorporated areas in CA.

Least Expensive Places to live in CA – No County or City  Sales Taxes

Have you ever thought about relocating to different parts of CA? There is no county or city sales taxes anywhere within the following counties. All you need to pay is the 7.25% California sales tax.

Alpine county
Calaveras county
Kings county
Lassen county
Modoc county
Mono county
Plumas county
Sierra county
Sutter county

To find out the sales tax for a specific location in CA, just enter the address in our online demo and you will get the current tax rate information for the input location.

September 5, 2016

How to Correctly Calculate the California Sales Tax Rate Using Geo-Based Technology

Most online tools do not calculate California sales tax correctly

California sales tax is complicated. To correctly calculate the sales tax rate, let’s first understand its requirements.

According to California Board of Equalization Publication 44 “District Taxes” (Sales and Use Tax), most businesses in California are located – or do business in – special sales and use tax districts.

What is a district?

A “district” is a local jurisdiction that, under enabling statutes in various codes, may impose transactions (sales) and use taxes within its borders. Voter approved district taxes may be levied on a countywide basis and within incorporated city limits. A city district tax rate applies only to addresses within the incorporated city limits. Additionally, more than one district tax may be in effect in a given location.

What are district taxes?

District taxes are either transactions (sales) or use taxes. The Revenue and Taxation Code provides that transactions (sales) taxes are due from retailers on their sales of tangible personal property, and use taxes are due from purchasers for their use of tangible personal property in the district. “Use” is defined as the use, storage, or other consumption of tangible personal property.

So, in order to correctly calculate California sales tax, you need to know:

  1. County and city district sales tax rates
  2. If the address is within the incorporated city limits

The information for county and city district sales tax rates are easy to find. California Board of Equalization publishes the county and city tax sales and use tax rates on http://www.boe.ca.gov/app/rates.aspx. You can locate the rates by county and/or by city.

The challenge is to figure out if the address is within the incorporated city limits. Some people think they can identify the incorporated city by the name of the city included in the address. Unfortunately most addresses are mailing address by US Postal Office.

The name of the city in the mailing address can be the mailing city,  in other words, the city in which the postal office delivering to the address is located. This mailing city may be different from the physical city that the address is located in. So we can’t use it to correctly determine its physical city, let alone if it’s within the incorporated city limits.

The complexities of zip codes

Some people wonder if zip codes can determine the incorporated city limit. In fact, a lot of shopping cart service providers and softwares use zip codes to match the sales tax rates. Unfortunately many zip codes breach city boundaries, making them an unsuitable method as well.

How can you correctly calculate California sales tax?

The only solution to accurately calculate California sales tax is through a geo-based technology to find out its municipality. Municipality is a city or town that has corporate status and local government. If the address has a municipality, it means it’s within an incorporated city. It the address does not have a municipality, it’s outside of an incorporated city and it is only part of a county.

Let’s look at the city of Campbell in Santa Clara county, California.

Here is the breakdown of the county and city district sales and use taxes as of 9/5/2016. On top of the state tax of 7.5%, the total county district tax is 1.25%, and the total city district tax is 0.25%.

County district tax:

  • Santa Clara County Transit District (SCCT): 0.500%
  • Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority (SCVT): 0.500%
  • Santa Clara VTA BART Operating and Maintenance Transactions and Use Tax (SVTB): 0.125%
  • Santa Clara County Retail Transactions and Use Tax (SCCR): 0.125%
  • Total county district tax: 1.250%

City district tax:

  • City of Campbell Vital City Services, Maintenance and Protection Transactions and Use Tax (CMPL): 0.250%
  • Total city district tax: 0.250%

Now let’s look at the following 2 addresses:

Address 1: 1 W Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA 95008.

Address 2: 1130 Normandy Dr, Campbell, CA 95008

The map below shows the locations of these 2 addresses produced by USgeocoder. The areas highlighted in light gray are incorporated areas that are within the incorporated city of Campbell. Their municipality is Campbell. The areas highlighted in yellow are un-incorporated areas that are surrounded by the incorporated city of Campbell.

California_sales_tax

The address “1 W Campbell Ave” is located within the city limit of the incorporated city of Campbell. Its total California sales tax rate is 9% (7.5%+ 1.25% + 0.25%).

However, the address “1130 Normandy Dr.” is located in an un-incorporated area surrounded by the city of Campbell. So the city district tax does not apply. Its total California sales tax rate is 8.75% (7.5%+ 1.25%).

Harness the power of our GIS technology to determine municipality and sales tax rate

To find municipality for any U.S. address, you can use the free lookup at USgecoder.com. Just enter an address and its zip code, press the “Free Lookup” button and you will find the municipality for the input address. If it’s within an incorporated city limit, it will show the name of the city. If it’s not within an incorporated city limit, it will say “Un-incorporated Area”.

To find the sales tax rate for a specific address in California, you can do the same with our free address-based location lookup tool. It will show the total tax rate with the breakdown and details information of county and city district tax rate. If the address is in an unincorporated area, it will say “N/A – Unincorporated Area 0%” for the city district tax.

Here is the screenshot of the search result for 1130 Normandy Dr, Campbell, CA 90058, an address that is not within a city limit.

California_sales_tax


Interested in learning more about the district matching and location lookup service entrusted by organizations including FedEx, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the Smithsonian and the National Multifamily Housing Council? Discover better accuracy and complete data privacy protection today!

August 20, 2016

How to Determine PACE Program Eligibility through GIS Technology

As a PACE program provider, you must know a property’s municipality

The PACE program (or Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a simple and effective way to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to buildings.

PACE programs allow local and state governments, as well as other inter-jurisdictional authorities, to fund all up-front costs of energy improvements on both commercial and residential properties, which are then paid back over time by the property owner.

PACE programs can pay for new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps, insulation, and more.

Challenges for PACE Program Providers

PACE program providers work closely with local governments to offer their programs. Municipalities and county governments can opt-in or opt-out of the program. In order to find out if a particular house qualifies for the PACE program, the provider needs to know if the home owner lives within the boundary that offers a PACE program.

If the address is within the incorporated city, its municipality is the incorporated city. If not, the municipality of the address is in an unincorporated area surrounded by the incorporated city.

The problem is, most home owners provide standardized mailing addresses, which may not reflect the municipality of the address. To find the true municipality of an address, programs such as PACE rely on a service that’s far more accurate and precise.

 

Learn more about how to find the proper municipality by address

 

Determining the municipality of an address

Assuming the city of San Jose in Santa Clara County, CA opts in to the PACE program, and Santa Clara County does not opt in to the program, let’s see how it affects the following 2 addresses:

Mailing Address 1:
1591 Williamsport Drive, San Jose, CA 95131

The municipality of this address is San Jose. It’s eligible for the PACE program.


Mailing Address 2:
2221 Enborg lane, San Jose, CA 95128

Although the mailing city for this address is San Jose, the physical address is actually not within the incorporated city of San Jose.  The municipality of the address is in an unincorporated area within the county. Because Santa Clara county does not opt in, it is NOT eligible for the PACE program.


How to Find the Municipality by Address?

As the repository of municipality information, the US Census provides boundaries for each municipality in the US.

The only way to determine the municipality is to use a geolocation service. Such a service maps the physical location of the home and then queries the municipality database provided by US Census.

As one of the few OEM geo-coders in the US, USgeocoder provides geolocation-based municipality lookup by address. We geocode each address, identify its latitude and longitude, match it to the US Census database and then produce municipality information for the input address.

This level of accuracy and pinpoint precision has proven to be an invaluable asset to program providers such as PACE, that rely on proper data.

Interested to see our address-based location lookup service at work?

 

We encourage you to try our live demo

Simply enter any address in the U.S., click on the “Free Lookup” button and nearly instantly you’ll be provided with vital, and accurate, information, including:

  • Standardized address
  • Geolocation codes
  • Zip codes & mail delivery
  • Political jurisdictions/elected officials
  • Census statistics
  • California sales tax (if applicable)

 


Interested in learning more about the district matching and location lookup service entrusted by organizations including FedEx, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the Smithsonian and the National Multifamily Housing Council? Discover better accuracy and complete data privacy protection today!

July 22, 2016

How to Find the Municipality by Address

A municipality is a city or town that has corporate status and its own local government. Most people think they can find the municipality of a location by merely looking at the address. That’s not always true.

Mailing city vs. a municipality

Normally, the city we see in a standard address is a mailing city, the city in which the postal office delivering to the address is located. Sometimes, this mailing city is the same as the physical city that the address belongs to.

But that’s not always the case.

When the municipality differs from the mailing city

If an address is located within an incorporated city, the incorporate city is its municipality. However, if the address is not part of the incorporated city, that means this address does not have a municipality.

Let’s find the municipality for the following 2 examples:

  • Address 1: 620 Pole Line Road, Davis, CA 95618
  • Address 2: 1 SHIELDS AVE, Davis, CA 95616

Here is the map that shows the location of these 2 addresses.

The city for the above 2 addresses is Davis. The area highlighted in yellow is the un-incorporated area. The area highlighted in light gray is the incorporated area.

You can see the address “1 Shields Ave” falls in that yellow box. That means this address is not part of the incorporated city of Davis.

In other words, Davis is just its mailing city. It does not have a municipality. It’s physical address should be “1 Shields Ave, Yolo County, CA 95616”.

On the other hand, the address “620 Pole Line Road, Davis, CA 95618” is in the light gray box. It’s in the incorporated area, and its municipality is Davis.

How can you find the municipality by address?

Municipality is a very important determining factor for programs that involve local jurisdictions such as PACE funding programs and California sales and use tax.

The only way to find the municipality for an address is to use a geolocation service. It maps the address and finds its relationship with the municipality database to determine if it’s in an incorporated city. You can lookup municipality for any address in the US using the live demo on USgeocoder.com. Just enter the address and zip code, press the “Free Lookup” button and you will find the municipality for the input address.


Interested in learning more about the district matching and location lookup service entrusted by organizations including FedEx, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the Smithsonian and the National Multifamily Housing Council? Discover better accuracy and complete data privacy protection today!