Louisiana Legislature enacted several measures affecting local sales and use
taxes during its 2002 Special and Regular Sessions. The measures include:
2002 Special Session
Act 3 (HB-104) Provides a sales and use tax exclusion for
capital expenditures by biotechnology companies.
Act 7 (HB-30) Provides an exclusion from the state sales
and use tax for certain computer software. This exemption is optional for local
sales and use tax. The local jurisdictions in East Baton Rouge Parish have not
adopted an exemption for custom computer software.
Act 98 (HB-127) Provides sales tax filing requirements
for the state and its departments, agencies, boards and commissions.
2002 Regular Session
Act 64 (HB-135) Extends the time limitations for the exclusion of motor
vehicles purchased for lease.
Act 67 (HB-158) Provides an exclusion from state and local sales and use
tax for certain costs of publishing businesses.
Act 85 (SB-86) Provides a sales and use tax exclusion for certain
tangible personal property sold by a dealer in connection with the sale or use
of mobile telecommunication services.
On July 24, 2002, a State District Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction regarding this
sales and use tax exclusion. As a result, this exclusion is not in effect until
the courts issue a final decision.
Act 61 (HB-124) Excludes digital television and digital radio conversion
equipment from state sales and use tax. Authorizes local taxing agencies to
adopt an ordinance excluding this equipment. The local jurisdictions in East
Baton Rouge Parish have not adopted this exclusion.
(HB-82) Excludes certain transactions
relating to manufactured homes from local sales and use tax. This exclusion is
phased in over four years, beginning January 1, 2003.
(HB-205) Excludes from state and local
sales and use tax purchases by non-profit blood banks and blood collection
(HB-207) Excludes from state and local sales and
use tax apheresis kits and leuko reduction filters used by non-profit blood
banks and blood collection centers.
Act 37 (SB-57) Local taxing agencies are authorized to adopt an exemption
for the sales, administration, or procurement of certain prescription drugs. The
local jurisdictions in East Baton Rouge Parish have not adopted this exemption.
Act 42 (SB-71) Provides an exemption from local sales and use tax for
cancer and related chemotherapy prescription drugs.
Act 31 (SB-39) Provides an exemption from state and local sales and use
tax for repairs on drilling rigs and equipment used offshore.
Act 40 (SB-62) Defines "foreign or interstate coastwise commerce" with
respect to the exemption provided owners and operators of ships or vessels
operating in such commerce.
Act 41 (SB-70) Provides an exemption from state and local sales and use
tax for ships and ship supplies.
Act 27 (SB-11) Provides an exemption from state and local sales and use
tax for non-profit literacy organizations.
Act 2 (HB-40) Extends the exemption for certain buses, trucks, and
trailers used in interstate commerce.
Act 49 (HB-26) Extends the exemption for purchases of utilities used by
certain steelworks and blast furnaces.
Act 6 (HB-73) Authorizes local taxing agencies to adopt an ordinance
exempting farm equipment from local sales and use tax. The local jurisdictions
in East Baton Rouge Parish have not adopted this exemption.
Act 4 (HB-54) Extends the state and local sales and use tax exemptions
for boiler fuel.
Cell Phone Exemptions - Preliminary
On July 24, 2002, the State District Court
issued a preliminary injunction on the sales
and use tax exclusion for cell phone equipment. The exclusion was challenged by
the Policy Jury Association of Louisiana and the Louisiana Municipal
Association. A lawsuit was filed against the state claiming the Louisiana
Constitution prohibits the Legislature from releasing or extinguishing any
indebtedness, liability, or obligation of a corporation to the state, a parish,
or a municipality. As a result of the preliminary injunction issued by District
Court Judge Curtis Callaway, the cell phone exclusion is not in effect until the
courts issue a final decision. Until then, all sales and use taxes due in the
local jurisdictions in East Baton Rouge Parish on cell phone equipment will be
based on Rule 117, Cellular Telephones, of our Rules and Regulations.
Rule 117. Cellular Telephones
A. Sales of cellular telephone equipment and repairs of
cellular telephones are subject to sales tax. Cellular telephone service
charges (air-time) are not subject to tax.
B. Cellular telephones sold for less than fair market value
or given away with the condition that the customer subscribe to cellular
services for a specified period of time, are subject to use tax based on the
cost price of the cellular phone. Credit will be given for local sales and use
tax paid on the sale of the telephone.
As published in the July 2001 and the October 2001 issues of the ďTax Facts,"
the Revenue Division has implemented its digital imaging system. As a result, we
will no longer be able to accept photo copies, fax copies, spreadsheets, and tax
services prepared forms.
In addition, when preparing your return, you must round to the nearest dollar
and record all deductions on the back of the sales and use tax return. The Sales
Tax Worksheet should be used in preparing your return. You may download
the worksheet and the sales and use tax instructions from our web site under the
"Forms" link on the Finance Department's home page.
Remember to mail your return
early! Returns bearing a U.S. postmark on or after the above delinquent
dates will be assessed penalty, interest, and loss of vendor's compensation.
How Important Is a Postmark Date?
Revenue Division computer system uses the U.S. Post Office postmark on the
envelope in determining whether a return is current or delinquent. The due date
for all registered filers is the 1st of the month in which the sales
and use tax is due. A return is considered delinquent after the 20th
of the same month (see Tax Facts, October 1995). If the 20th falls on
a weekend or holiday, the return must be postmarked by the next work day. Any
taxpayer whose return is postmarked after the delinquent date will receive a
notice of additional tax (forfeiture of vendorís compensation) , penalty, and
interest due. The return will be considered as a partial payment, and the
taxpayer will receive delinquent notices until final remittance is made.
The U.S. Post Office postmark is used to enforce the
assessment of penalty and interest and the loss of vendorís compensation. It
is the responsibility of each dealer to ensure that sales and use taxes are
transmitted in a timely manner. Additionally, dealers should be aware that
giving their return to their route postal worker on the 20th could
result in a delinquent return if the envelope is not postmarked until the next
day. To avoid this situation, all taxpayers are urged to mail early to ensure
that their returns are recognized as filed timely.
Taxpayers may call the Revenue Division to receive
assistance at the
following telephone numbers between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.
Taxpayer Assistance - FAX
The Tax Facts Newsletter is issued quarterly by the Department of Finance/Revenue
Division. Our mission is to provide taxpayers with information concerning
developments and policies regarding the collection of local sales tax within East Baton
Rouge Parish. The Revenue Division invites any suggestions, questions or comments
that you would like addressed in future issues of Tax Facts. Please
address these items to:
City of Baton Rouge - Department of Finance
P. O. Box 2590
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-2590
ATTENTION: Steve Thomas, Assistant Revenue Manager
or send e-mail to email@example.com