Here’s something which didn’t make a lot of news when Louisiana’s $463 million tax hike bill passed in the third special legislative session of the year last month – the state’s sales tax holidays are no more.
Here’s a press release by Louisiana’s Secretary of Revenue Kimberly Lewis Robinson…
Act 1 of the 2018 Third Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature established a list of approved exemptions and exclusions from the 4.45 percent state sales tax beginning July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2025. Louisiana Revised Statutes 47:305.54 (Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday – first Friday and Saturday in August), 305.58 (Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday – last Saturday and Sunday in May) and 305.62 (Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday – first Friday through Sunday in September) are not among the list of approved exclusions and exemptions from the 4.45 percent state sales tax. Items of tangible personal property purchased during the sales tax holiday periods will be subject to the full state sales tax rate of 4.45% through June 30, 2025.
Act 1 does not legislate with regard to the sales and use taxes levied by local political subdivisions, as such, the local sales tax exemptions in place for the Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday will not be impacted.
What’s going on here is a vastly different interpretation of the bill passed by the state legislature in that last session than most of the people voting for it expected. The Department of Revenue looked at the language in that bill and figured it would let them get away with killing those sales tax holidays. The bill, which was HB 10 in that session by Rep. Paula Davis (R-Baton Rouge), is 42 pages long and doesn’t reference those holidays. Robinson and her department could have interpreted the absence of a reference to them to mean no change in previous law was intended, but that wouldn’t allow the state to squeeze the maximum amount of swag out of Louisiana’s 4.7 million serfs.
“I think a lot of my colleagues will be surprised to find out that they voted against the NRA and eliminated the Second Amendment sales tax holiday,” Rep. Alan Seabaugh, the de facto leader of the anti-tax faction in the House, told the Hayride yesterday.
This is perhaps a lesson in legislative life for Davis, who is a freshman elected in 2015. Namely, make sure your bill is watertight rather than written to allow John Bel Edwards and his gang to turn it into something you didn’t intend.
There is a very good chance Davis will come in for some blame by her fellow House Republicans now – especially when the NRA’s membership around the state, to include its hundreds of thousands of hunters, finds out the 2nd Amendment sales tax holiday has been blown away and those hunters and gun enthusiasts start calling their elected representatives to express their reactions.
This is what’s known as a mess, and it will give a black eye to everyone who voted for the bill. We’re working on summoning up some sympathy for them…but not too hard.