Since our previous blog on the possibility that auto malls – like regional malls – will soon become retail dinosaurs, the California press has glommed onto the idea big time. This is partly, of course, because auto sales are in the news in other ways. A few cities, for example, are offering auto sales tax rebates as part of their "local stimulus package," while other jurisdictions have provided loans to car dealerships.

First came Brandon Lowrey in the Los Angeles Daily News, who used Palmdale's auto sales tax rebate as the hook for a story about how much auto sales tax is declining. He quoted a Los Angeles city official as guessing that auto-related sales tax revenue dropped 21%, or $2.1 million, during the fourth quarter.

Then, Brooks Edwards in the Victor Valley News took the story one step further, reporting on San Bernardino's plans to offer a sales tax holiday for about 10 days, starting this Wednesday (March 25) and slopping over two weekends, to April 5.

Of course, neither reporter explained how eliminating sales tax on automobiles will help increase city sales tax revenues.

And this morning, Big Dan weighed in on the topic. Sacramento Bee political columnist Dan Walters took note of the general decline in auto sales and appeared to come down on the side of broadening the sales tax to include services as well as goods.

Stay tuned. The auto-mall-as-dinosaur story isn't going away anytime soon.

– Bill Fulton