Content tagged “State budget and tax”

EBR sales tax collections up 4.3% in August

For the second month in a row, East Baton Rouge has seen its largest year-over-year increase of monthly sales tax collections and vehicle sales tax collections combined, at 4.3% in August, according to the latest monthly report issued by the city-parish Finance Department today. Collections on vehicle sales were up 26% in the city and parish during August compared to the same month last year, and accounted for about $1.26 million of the total $14.5 million in sales taxes collected during the month. Non-vehicle sales taxes collected in the city and parish were also up about 2.6% on the month—$13.2 million, compared to $12.9 million in August 2012. Combined sales and vehicle tax collections were both inside the city limits of Baton Rouge and outside of them. Collections inside the city were up approximately 6.7%, and accounted for $7.7 million of the city and parish total.

La. slips to No. 33 on Tax Foundation's annual state rankings

Louisiana fell one spot to No. 33 overall on the Tax Foundation's 2014 edition of the "State Business Tax Climate Index" report, released today, which measures each state's tax climate at the start of each new fiscal year. Louisiana had been ranked No. 32 in the two previous editions of the report, and for 2011 was No. 31. In compiling the report each year, the Tax Foundation considers each state's individual income tax, corporate income tax, sales tax, property tax and unemployment insurance tax. Each component is weighted differently, with the individual income tax and sales tax collectively accounting for nearly 54% of each state's total score and ranking. The sales tax category, in which Louisiana ranks dead last, accounts for roughly 20% of the overall score. Louisiana got its best category ranking for its unemployment insurance tax at No. 4. Unfortunately, that category holds the least sway over the total score, accounting for just 11.5%. "The Index deals with such questions by...

State has more than $2M budget gap for elections

Louisiana's election expenses are running over-budget. According to an update from the Legislature's fiscal analysts, the Secretary of State's Office received a $2.7 million budget to pay for elections this year. But the Legislative Fiscal Office says the secretary of state's expenses are estimated to double that, reaching $5.4 million. The increase is tied to more local elections than previously expected, the report says, along with a special election for the 5th District congressional seat representing northeast and central Louisiana. That race was created when Rodney Alexander resigned from Congress in September and subsequently went to work in Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration. The yearly elections budget is often underestimated, with lawmakers and the governor's office having to add dollars midyear as new elections are added to the calendar. The Associated Press reports there's no word yet on a funding plan to fill this year's shortfall.

Low tax burden makes La. great state to start a business, report says

Highlighting figures from the Tax Foundation, the Washington Examiner notes that Louisiana's relatively low tax burden makes it among the best states to start a business. Louisiana is ranked the No. 2 state for new businesses by the Tax Foundation and the No. 10 state for existing businesses. And while Texas Governor Rick Perry has made headlines recently for aggressively trying to lure businesses from other states by touting Texas' low tax burden, the Examiner wonders "whether Perry is in a position to be boasting at all." Despite being ranked No. 12 for existing businesses when it comes to the tax burden, Texas is ranked No. 42 for new businesses in the 2012 study. Louisiana, meanwhile, was ranked No. 1 in four of the 14 categories upon which the rankings were based. "Two of the first-place rankings are for new capital-intensive manufacturing and new labor-intensive manufacturing firms," the Tax Foundation says. "Each of these operations has a total effective tax rate...

Tax Commission leaders say they work for fairness

Officials with the Louisiana Tax Commission say they are doing their best to make sure parish tax assessors are accurately setting property taxes. But they didn't say whether the commission is redesigning its review processes to address concerns raised in an audit. Charles Abels, administrator for the commission, says the office is doing everything it can within its $3.8 million budget to make sure "people aren't paying more than their fair share." Abels spoke at a legislative hearing today, responding to an audit finding that the commission regularly approved revisions that assessors made to tax bills without checking the accuracy of those changes. Lawmakers plan another hearing to check on commission progress in following audit recommendations. None of the five commissioners, all appointed by the governor, appeared at today's hearing.

EBR sales tax collections up 4% in July

This year's largest monthly increase of sales tax collections on auto sales pushed total collections up by slightly more than 4% in July across East Baton Rouge Parish, according to the latest monthly report issued by the city-parish Finance Department today. Collections on vehicle sales were up 17% in the city and parish during July compared to the same month last year, and accounted for about $1.3 million of the total $14.4 million in sales taxes collected during the month. Non-vehicle sales taxes collected in the city and parish were also up about 3% on the month—$13.1 million, compared to $12.7 million in July 2012. Combined sales and vehicle tax collections were both inside the city limits of Baton Rouge and outside of them. Collections inside the city were up nearly 2%, and accounted for $7.4 million of the city and parish total. Collections outside the city limits totaled $7 million and were up nearly 7% over July figures from last year. Year to date, combined...