State House approves proposal to create single tax collection system

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by T. Scott Boatright

BATON ROUGE — House Bill 199, a proposal to centralize state sales tax collection that is opposed by the Lincoln Parish Police Jury in its continued original wording, was overwhelmingly passed by the state House on Wednesday.

House members ultimately voted 96-4 for the bill.

In order to pass legislation would require two-thirds support from the House and Senate and backing from voters in a statewide election.

If the Constitutional amendment is approved, lawmakers will also have to work out implementation details before the process could begin.

A companion bill that would govern how the process works is still not available in the current session. In its current form, HB 199 calls for a public vote in November 2022.

Louisiana sales taxes are currently collected by school boards of each parish, making Louisiana only one of three states in the country that does not have a centralized sales tax collection system along with Colorado and Hawaii.

One of the primary complaints listed in a LPPJ resolution opposing the bill in its current form is the lack of the aforementioned companion bill — details of the proposal to centralize sales tax collection and deal with the audit process involved in such.

Lincoln Parish District 8 Police Juror Skip Russell said during the LPPJ’s monthly meeting on April 13 that remittance timing was one concern he had about the idea of state centralized sales tax collection.

“Another point you need to consider is that when this money (sales tax collections) goes to those folks in Baton Rouge, how quickly then are we going to get it remitted to us?,” Russell asked.

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