State sales tax collection overhaul advances to House floor

Another Louisiana House committee has endorsed changing the state constitution to centralize sales tax collection.

The committee focused on civil law and procedure unanimously agreed Tuesday to send the bill to the full House, The Center Square reports. The House tax-writing committee signed off last week with only one objection. 

HB199 by Republican House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, would create an eight-member board to oversee tax collections statewide. Traditionally under Louisiana’s unusual system, local officials have collected local taxes, which they have argued ensures they get their revenue in a timely manner and can spend the money they way local taxpayers and voters want it spent.

Streamlining and simplifying sales tax collection is the top priority in this year’s fiscal session for Schexnayder and many business advocates, who say the current system is overly complex for taxpayers to navigate. Business owners remain concerned about having to face multiple audits even under the new system; the legislation directs the new commission to streamline the audit process but doesn’t specify the details. Read the full story.