Calcasieu Parish School Board Sales and Use Tax Department
Representing Lake Charles, Sulphur, DeQuincy, Westlake, Iowa, Vinton,
Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Calcasieu Parish LED Dist. 1,
Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau

CALCASIEU TAX REVIEW
Volume 14, Issue 2 July 2002


2002 Legislative Update
NOTE: For a complete copy of the legislation passed during the Regular Session and the Special Session, visit the State of Louisiana’s Legislative website (www.legis.state.la.us) and view those Acts that are of interest.

Special Session – 2002
Act 3, HB 104 – relative to sales & use taxes; to provide for exclusions from the tax for certain capital expenditures by biotechnology companies. Effective for 4 years only. (7/1/02 – 6/30/06)
Act 7, HB 30 – provides for a phase-in exclusion of custom computer software, applicable to state taxes only; establishes definitions for “computer software” and “custom computer software”. Provides authority to locals for granting of an exemption for sales of computer software. Effective 7/1/02.

Regular Session – 2002
Act 2, HB 40 – extends exemption for vehicles used in interstate commerce and related matters until 6/30/04.
Act 4, HB 54 – extends boiler fuel exemptions.
Act 6, HB 73 – provides authority for locals to grant an exemption for farm equipment. Effective 7/1/02.
Act 20, HB 166 – extends for ten years, automobile rental tax
Act 27, SB 11 – provides a limited exemption from state and local taxes on purchase of certain tangible personal property by non-profit literacy organizations. Effective 7/1/02.
Act 31, SB 39 – provides exemptions from state and local sales/use taxes for repairs, and materials used on drilling rigs and equipment used exclusively offshore. Effective 7/1/02
Act 37, HB 57 – provides an exclusion from local sales/use taxes on drugs sold under Title XXI (LaChips) of the Social Security Act and authorizes locals to provide an exemption to chemotherapy drugs used exclusively by a patient when administered in a physician’s office. Further authorizes an amnesty program for parties who may have been responsible for such taxes previously. Effective
Act 42, SB 71 – provides for an exemption from local taxes on the purchase and administration of cancer and related chemotherapy prescription drugs in a physician office. Eff. 7/1/02.
Act 40 & 41, SB 62 & 70 – provides definitions for “foreign or interstate coastwise commerce”; to provide exemption for certain shipbuilding materials, equipment and machinery.
Act 56, HB 82 – excludes certain transactions relating to manufactured homes from local sales/use tax. Eff. 7/1/02.
Act 64, HB 135 – extends the time limitation of the exclusion for motor vehicles purchased for lease.
Act 67, HB 158 – exclusion from state and local sales/use tax for certain cost of publishing businesses. Eff. 7/1/02
Act 70 & 71, HB 205 & 207 – excludes from state and local sales/use tax purchases by non-profit blood banks and blood collection centers. Eff. 7/1/02.
Act 85, SB 86 – the sale of tangible personal property by a dealer in connection with the sale/use of mobile telecommunications services.

Constitutionality of Act 85-2002, Regular Session
A preliminary injunction has been granted by Judge Calloway of East Baton Rouge Parish. Act 85 amends existing state laws pertaining to sales and use taxes on cellular telephones and certain wireless communication equipment. It was enacted in response to a court ruling involving Calcasieu Parish v. Mercury Cellular Telephone Co. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that cellular telephone vendors owed a sales tax or use tax based upon their cost of the property when phones and related equipment were given away free or for a nominal amount in connection with a sale of a wireless service plan.

Hearings concerning a permanent injunction and declaratory judgment will be scheduled soon. Cellular telephone vendors are advised that computational methodology under Mercury is the proper methodology to employ until this challenge of Act 85 runs its course.


Access Forms On-Line
Some dealers have already discovered by calling the department that some forms can be accessed on-line at www.laota.com. Registration applications, exemption certificate applications, and sales tax reports are available at the website.

To access the forms once you have reached the web page for the Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators, click on “Parish Tax Agencies”. Then click “Calcasieu” and scroll down to the “Forms Available On-Line” segment of the page. Your choices of the forms mentioned above should be displayed. Naturally, you can choose the form desired at this point. Until our website is completed, we recommend this source as a vehicle to meeting the need of a return or application. As a reminder, should you secure a return on-line, always provide your business name, account number, and return period reported. Once more, the website is www.laota.com. Good Luck!


Phase-In Exclusion Complete
Thanks to Act 1266, lease/rental dealers should be reaping the benefits of a 100% exclusion from sales tax on tangible personal property purchased for lease/rental. Effective July 1, 2002, the phase-in exclusion that began several years ago, made its final turn lifting the exclusion to the maximum level of 100%.

Dealers impacted by this exclusion are reminded to follow protocol. Exemption certificates are available for dealers who have not applied. Further, as in other instances of exemption, the special exemption certificate prepared must be obtained and furnished to suppliers. The general opinion of this office has also been expanded to include in the exclusion offered by Act 1266 repair parts purchased by lease/rental dealers when the repairs are performed in-house.

As mentioned in our January 2001 newsletter, all questions concerning the results of Act 1266 should be directed to Field Auditors or the Office of the Director. Again, for the benefit of dealers who have not secured them, special exemption certificates are available through the Sales Tax Department.

It’s been “a long time coming”, but we have finally gotten a drop box installed at our new location. This box is to be used for after hour purposes. Although we have provided this as a convenience for the taxpayers, our office bears no responsibility for contents deposited in the box in case of theft or destruction. You may use it at your own risk. Although our box is similar to the boxes used by the United States Postal Service, please do not mistake it for one, thus the reason we chose the different color (green).


**PLEASE NOTE**

The Sales Tax Department will be closed for the following holidays:

Independence Day July 4, 2002
Labor Day September 2, 2002
Election Day November 5, 2002
Veteran’s Day November 11, 2002
Thanksgiving November 27 – 29, 2002
Christmas/New Year Dec. 23, 2002 – Jan. 2, 2003

RETURN DUE DATES
(Also applicable to Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax)

July return due by August 20th
August return due by September 20th
September return due by October 21st
October return due by November 20th
November return due by December 20th
December return due by January 21st
 

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