Archive for May, 2009

Report: 'House bloc to reject bill delaying tax break to offset higher education cuts'

The Associated Press reports that a coalition of Republican and Democratic state lawmakers has united in opposition to a measure that would delay implementation of a scheduled state income tax reduction.

Forty-seven House members, enough to block a veto override, have promised to vote against a Senate proposal to reduce higher education funding cuts by delaying a tax break.

The mostly Republican bloc signed onto a news release, promising “No” votes against the proposal from Sen. Lydia Jackson to postpone by three years a tax break the Legislature approved in 2007. Others promising to vote against it include Independent Rep. Joel Robideaux and Democratic Reps. Taylor Barras, Simone Champagne, Bill Chandler, Noble Ellington and Bernard LeBas.

Jackson’s bill would delay from this year to 2012 a scheduled increase in the number of allowable income tax deductions for individual taxpayers.

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2009 Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is May 30, 31

The 2009 Louisiana Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday will take place on Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31. On these two days, shoppers can purchase specified emergency supplies free of the four-percent state sales tax in preparation for the 2009 hurricane season, which begins on June 1. Act 429 of the 2007 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature enacted R.S. 47:305.58 to provide for an annual state sales tax holiday on sales of hurricane-preparedness items or supplies made on the last Saturday and Sunday of each May.

 During the two-day holiday, tax-free purchases are allowed for the first $1,500 of the sales price of each of the following items:

  • Self-powered light sources, such as flashlights and candles;
  • Portable self-powered radios, two-way radios, and weather-band radios;
  • Tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting;
  • Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits;
  • Gas or diesel fuel tanks;
  • Batteries – AAA, AA, C, D, 6-volt, or 9-volt (automobile batteries and boat batteries are not eligible);
  • Cellular phone batteries and chargers;
  • Non-electric food storage coolers;
  • Portable generators;
  • Storm shutter devices – Materials and products manufactured, rated, and marketed specifically for the purposes of preventing window damage from storms (La. R.S. 47:305.58).
  • Carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Blue ice products.

 Conditions for Exemption

 The following activities will be eligible during the two days of each annual holiday for the sales tax exemption:

  • buying and accepting delivery of eligible hurricane-preparedness items or supplies;
    placing eligible items or supplies on layaway;
  • making final payment on and withdrawing eligible items or supplies previously placed on layaway; or
  • ordering an eligible item for immediate delivery, even if delivery must be delayed, provided that the customer has not requested delayed shipment.
    Special Provisions

 The Act provides that:

  • The exemption is allowed on both inputs to and withdrawals from layaway.
  • Purchases of eligible items or supplies during the holiday with “rain checks” issued before the holiday are eligible for exemption, but purchases after the holiday with “rain checks” issued during the holiday are not eligible for exemption.
  • Orders for immediate shipment are eligible for exemption even if the shipment is after the holiday, provided that the customer does not request delayed shipment.
  • The post-holiday exchange of merchandise to effectuate changes in size, color, or correction of defects does not create a tax liability, but exchanges after the holiday for dissimilar items will be considered the purchase of new property on which the sales tax will be payable.
  • For a 60-day period after the holiday, dealers who issue refund or credit for the return of merchandise that was eligible for sales tax exemption during the holiday can issue refund or credit for the state sales tax on that returned merchandise only if the customers returning the property have receipts showing that the tax was actually paid on the original purchases, or the dealers are otherwise able to document that the state sales tax was paid on the original purchases.

The sales tax holiday will not extend to hurricane-preparedness items or supplies purchased at any airport, public lodging establishment or hotel, convenience store, or entertainment complex.

 Return Filing Procedures

Retailers should report exempt sales on Line 33 of the Sales Tax Return (R-1029) and write the words “Sales Tax Holiday” as the explanation.

 The Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is an annual event. The 2009 sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 30, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 31.

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