Shoppers will get 2-day sales tax holiday Nov. 20-21


By David Jacobs

(The Center Square) – Louisiana shoppers will get two days without having to pay state sales taxes this fall, thanks to a bill approved during this year’s special session and recently signed into law.

Act 16 establishes a sales tax holiday on Nov. 20 and 21 of this year only. Consumers are expected to save a total of about $4.5 million, money that would otherwise go into state government’s general fund. Louisiana’s 4.45 percent state sales tax will not be applied to the first $2,500 of purchases during the holiday.

The exemption does not apply to vehicle purchases and does not include local sales tax. Louisiana has held several sales tax holidays in recent years, though they were suspended two years ago until 2025 as part of a deal between legislators and Gov. John Bel Edwards to balance the budget.

Lawmakers justified the new one-time holiday as a way to help state residents recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other legislation that passed during the latest special session that Edwards recently has signed include: Act 11: Authorizes spending more than $6.3 million to give poll workers in this year’s elections a daily boost in pay worth up to $100. Legislators said the increase could help to attract workers during the pandemic. Act 13: Creates an income tax break worth up to $300 for families who hired someone to help facilitate online learning.

The Legislative Fiscal Office was unable to estimate the cost because there is no basis to say how many filers will claim the deduction or for how much, the LFO says.

Act 15: A $23 million spending bill focused mainly on repairing or replacing state-owned buildings damaged by Hurricane Laura and/or Hurricane Delta.

Act 17: Makes students displaced to other states eligible for state-funded TOPS scholarships.

Act 25: Dedicates about $875,000 per year in state timber severance taxes to fire prevention.

Act 26: Modifies the definition of federal income tax liability to include net disaster losses caused by hurricanes Delta and Laura.

Act 40: Suspends provisions of the law that would have led to higher employer taxes and reduced unemployment benefits when the unemployment insurance trust fund balance is low. The fund held more than $1 billion before the pandemic began, but state officials now are borrowing money from the federal government to pay legally required benefits.

Act 41: Authorizes Louisiana Economic Development to provide an extension for certain job creation requirements for enterprise zone incentives and quality jobs incentive rebates due to the impacts of COVID-19, Hurricane Laura, and Hurricane Delta.