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Tax Facts Vol. 14, No. 3

Tax Facts Index

TAX FACTS NEWSLETTER

East Baton Rouge Parish

Department of Finance

Vol. 14,  No. 3

July 2003

Baker and Zachary School Districts Require New Changes in Sales and Use Tax Reporting

On November 20, 1999, voters in the Baker School District approved a two percent sales and use tax applicable to taxable transactions in the Baker School District, including property delivered into the Baker School District.  Proceeds from this tax will be used to operate the City of Baker School District.  This tax is for a period of ten years beginning July 1, 2003.  Sales of food for home consumption, sales of prescription drugs, and medically-related items are subject to this tax.  The total taxable rate for food and drugs is four and one-half percent.  The regular sales and use tax rate for non-food items in the City of Baker and the Baker School District will be five and one-half percent.

On April 7, 2001, voters of the Zachary Community School District approved a two percent sales and use tax applicable to taxable transactions in the Zachary Community School District, including property delivered into the District.  One percent of the tax is for a period of five years beginning July 1, 2003.  Sales of food for home consumption, sales of prescription drugs, and medically-related items are exempt from this one percent tax.  The other one percent is permanent and will tax these same items.  The total taxable rate for food and drugs is three percent.  The regular sales and use tax rate for non-food items in the City of Zachary and the Zachary Community School District will be five percent.

These taxes replace the one percent East Baton Rouge Parish School Board and the one percent East Baton Rouge Parish Educational Facilities Improvement District taxes that were previously levied in the area of the new Baker and Zachary school districts.

As a result of these changes, our Sales and Use Tax Reporting Form has been redesigned.  The new form includes six columns.

Column

Taxing Jurisdiction

Regular
Rate
Food & Drug Rate
       
A

City of Baton Rouge
East Baton Rouge Parish School District

5.00% 3.00%
       
B Parish of East Baton Rouge
East Baton Rouge Parish School District
5.00% 3.00%
       
C Parish of East Baton Rouge
Zachary School District
5.00% 3.00%
       
D City of Baker
Baker School District
5.50% 4.50%
       
E City of Baker
East Baton Rouge Parish School District
5.50% 3.00%
       
F City of Zachary
Zachary School District
5.00% 3.00%
       

Electronic Filing is Here!!

As of June 1, 2003, the City-Parish Revenue Division will begin accepting applications from taxpayers who wish to file their monthly sales tax returns electronically.  Monthly filers will now have the option of filing and paying on-line.  Returns for "No Sales" may also be filed either on-line or by phone at (225) 344-4636, extension 5000. 

Retraction - Jet Fuel Not Subject to Sales Tax

The January 2003 issue of Tax Facts included an article entitled "Jet Fuel Subject to Sales Tax," which reported that the sale of jet fuel within this Parish was subject to local sales tax effective February 1, 2003.  Upon receipt of a letter from a taxpayer protesting our decision, the Finance Department decided to re-evaluate our position on the sale of jet fuel.  We are, therefore, retracting our decision to tax jet fuel effective February 1, 2003, until we have a clearer understanding of the limitations on taxing special fuels.

Legislation Introduced Affecting Local Sales Tax

In Louisiana, taxpayers must file separate returns monthly not only with the state, but with each local jurisdiction in which it does business.  This process can be very time consuming and inconvenient for the taxpayer.  To streamline the process, Senator Bill Jones introduced Senate Bill 551 at the 2003 Regular Legislative Session, which includes a Uniform Local Sales Tax Code.  The Uniform Local Sales Tax Code will replace the 360 plus unpublished local taxing ordinances throughout the state and will allow businesses and tax practitioners to easily understand Louisiana's state and local sales tax laws.  In addition to the Uniform Local Sales Tax Code, Senate Bill 551 also includes a Uniform Electronic Filing and Remittance System.  This system will be an online service available from the Louisiana Department of Revenue which will allow a company, at no cost, to file both their state and local sales tax returns in a single filing via the Internet.  Also included in the bill is a uniform procedure for administration of local sales taxes, which is the same as the state's procedures.

Sales Tax Due Dates

Following are the sales tax due dates for the third quarter of 2003:

For the Month of Tax Due Date Delinquent
Date
July August 1 August 21
August Sept. 1 Sept. 22
September October 1 October 21

Need help?

Taxpayers may contact the Revenue Division by phone or fax to receive assistance between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Taxpayer Assistance (225) 389-3084
Fax Number             (225) 389-5369

 

Taxpayer Topics

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 and use 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 send these items to:

City of Baton Rouge -
 Department of Finance
P. O. Box 2590
Baton Rouge, LA  70821-2590
Attention:  Steve Thomas,
 Asst. Revenue Manager
or e-mail to
sthomas@brgov.com
 

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.

Proud Member of the Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators External web link not maintained by City of Baton Rouge