Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission announces new chairman

BATON ROUGE – Steve Windham is the new official chair of the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping (LTFS) Commission.  He replaces the late Eugene Schreiber, who held the chairmanship from the inception of the tax free shopping program in 1989 until his death in July 2011.  Mr. Windham had served as acting chair since that time.

The LTFS Commission oversees the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program for International Visitors, created in 1989 to attract international tourists to Louisiana.  It offers refunds on sales taxes paid by international visitors at participating retailers.  Visitors can receive sales tax refunds at six LTFS Refund Centers in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Metairie, New Orleans, Shreveport, and at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Mr. Windham serves on the LTFS commission as the designee of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.  The Lt. Governor is one of four statutorily-appointed members of the commission, along with the Governor, the Secretary of Revenue, the State Treasurer and an appointee of the New Orleans World Trade Center. 

Mr. Windham works as Executive Director of the Encore Commission within the Office of the Lt. Governor, which works to make Louisiana an attractive home for people in retirement.  He is a graduate of LSU with a degree in accounting.  He worked previously as Marketing Director for the Port of South Louisiana and as Deputy Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.

In addition to Mr. Windham’s appointment as commission chair, Lisa Ponce de Leon was appointed the commission’s representative from the New Orleans World Trade Center.  Ms. Ponce de Leon works as Community Relations Manager for BP.  She is a former executive director of the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program for International Visitors.

Visit www.louisianataxfree.com for more information about the tax free shopping program.

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Ribbon cutting for new LTFS Refund Center

LTFS Grand Opening in Baton Rouge Sept. 27, 2011 012

The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program (LTFS) inaugurated its first Baton Rouge refund center on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The center, located in Macy’s in the Mall of Louisiana, will refund sales taxes on most retail purchases made my international visitors to Louisiana. The Baton Rouge refund center joins existing locations in Metairie, New Orleans, Kenner, Lafayette, and Shreveport.

The LTFS Program provides international visitors with an exemption from sales taxes for most retail purchases. In order to be eligible for the program, a visitor must be travelling on a foreign passport with a current U.S. tourist visa and be staying in the country for less than 90 days.

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