Is Louisiana Having a Tax-Free Weekend?

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Ten states are participating in tax-free weekend this weekend, but what about Louisiana? Last year, Louisiana had a tax holiday, although it wasn’t technically a tax-free weekend. Louisiana reduced its taxes for the weekend for specific items. But this year, Louisiana’s not doing the same thing.

Unfortunately, Louisiana is NOT having a tax-free weekend or a tax holiday this year, at any time in 2018. 

Yes, you read that correctly. Louisiana lawmakers decided to drop the holiday this year, WDSU reported. Many parents will be caught by surprise when they learn this, since the decision was just made in June when the legislature passed the .45-cent sales tax bill and Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill into law, News Star reported.

In fact, when working on the state budget in June, lawmakers eliminated all three Louisiana tax holidays: the August back-to-school tax holiday, the May hurricane preparedness holiday, and the September Second Amendment tax holiday. Unless lawmakers vote to change this decision, the tax holiday elimination is in place until 2025. State Rep. Paula Davis said the tax holidays weren’t even debated because they were “already a dead issue.” That’s because during an earlier Special Session, the House had rejected an amendment to add the sales tax holidays.

But Rep. Jack McFarland told The Advocate that many legislators didn’t realize the three tax holidays weren’t in the bill, including himself. He was part of the team that negotiated a last-minute sales tax revenue with the governor’s office that ended a fiscal cliff impasse. (They were trying to find a tax rate low enough for Republicans to support, but high enough to pay for hospitals, colleges, and other services.) He said it was about two weeks after signing the bill that he and others realized the tax holidays weren’t included. But he still would have voted for Act 1 even if he knew about the tax holidays, he added.

By eliminating the back-to-school holiday, which just lowered taxes but didn’t eliminate them, lawmakers believe they will get an extra $2.3 million in taxes, WDSU reported. And all the holidays combined will save the state about $5.2 million, News Star reported.

Some stores will be offering comparable discounts anyway, to attract shoppers.

And neighboring states are still having tax holidays, including Arkansas’ holiday this weekend and Texas’ holiday next weekend.

A lot of shoppers are disappointed by the news.

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