St. John, St. Charles school supply tax holiday next month
Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2012
By ROBIN SHANNON
LAPLACE – Both St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes will waive part or all of local sales taxes when the state enacts its sales tax holiday on back-to-school items next month.
The 2012 sales tax holiday on school supplies, uniforms and other non-tangible personal property up to $2,500 will begin Friday, Aug. 3, at 12:01 a.m. and continue until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. The state’s 4 percent tax will not apply to a wide assortment of purchases made that weekend.
In addition to the state tax break, both the parish council and the school board in St. Charles Parish recently agreed to waive their shares of local taxes. Residents will be exempt from the 3 percent tax levied by the school board and the 2.25 percent tax levied by the parish council. St. Charles will be the only parish in the state that will be totally tax-free for the August sales tax holiday.
Residents in St. John Parish will also enjoy a bit of a local tax break as the parish council recently agreed to waive its 2.25 percent tax when the state conducts sales tax holidays for back to school and hurricane preparation. Taxes in St. John levied by the school board and sheriff’s office will still be in affect on the tax holiday.
The statewide sales tax holiday saved shoppers — and cost the state — about $3.55 million last year. State Department of Revenue spokesman Byron Henderson said it is projected to save shoppers about $3.63 million this year, according to state budget documents.
Henderson said the exemption applies to the first $2,500 of the purchase of each eligible item but cannot be applied to the purchase of vehicles and boats; meals prepared for consumption at a restaurant or as a “to-go” order; and taxable services such as hotel occupancy, car repairs, printing services, laundry services and admission to athletic or amusement events or facilities.
The state sales tax exemption applies to individual items of tangible personal property if the customer buys and accepts delivery of the purchase in the two-day period, places property on layaway, receives property that was previously placed on layaway or places an order for immediate delivery even if the delivery is delayed.
Henderson said the sales tax holiday began in 2007 under a law adopted by Legislature earlier that year.
Items purchased during the holiday must be for individuals and not businesses, according to the program’s guidelines.
The rules say purchases during the holiday period with “rain checks” issued before it begins are eligible for the exemption, but purchases after the two-day event with rain checks issued during the holiday period are not eligible for the break.
Henderson said the state agency also encourages shoppers to retain receipts of purchases of school-related items and supplies, including uniforms and educational equipment required by schools.
“These expenses may be eligible for tax deductions on the 2012 state individual income tax returns due May 15,” Henderson said. “To claim the deductions, you must be able to claim the student as a dependent on your state individual income tax return and provide documentation for the expenses.”
For more information on the sales tax holiday, visit the Department of Revenue website at www.revenue.louisiana.gov/taxholiday.