“This is crushing liability.”

“Louisiana makes it extremely hard to do business in the state because of the countless hours and dollars it takes to ensure accurate compliance with all of the taxing jurisdictions. It’s overwhelming, and both businesses and consumers alike suffer because of the fragmented nature of the Louisiana sales tax collection system.”

“We’re a second-generation family business, so my parents actually started the company back in the early 70s. Over time the business became predominantly wholesale, and in the early years we were a catalog mail-order company, back in the days before the internet it was ALL catalog and the 1-800 phone line. We adapted pretty early to the internet, and today almost everything we do is through the website.”

“We’re a small business, so we wear a lot of hats.”

“I (Brad Scott) am the SALT department — The state and local tax department — I’m also the payroll department, the HR department the benefits administration department, the accounting department, the finance department. I don’t have this vast team of departments that answer to me. I don’t oversee anything, I’m neck-deep in it on a daily basis.”

“We have put almost 7700 hours in the last three years into sales tax compliance. Initially, a lot of that time was spent researching what we had to do as a company to make sure we were going to be complying correctly.”

“Since we started collecting sales tax to remit back to taxing authorities, we’ve collected about $127,000 in sales tax and spent $297,000 to ensure compliance. So, we are spending $2.28 for every dollar that we collect. I mean I’d rather just send the blank check to the states and not have to do the collection.”

“It’s one thing to say, ‘you’re not complying correctly’. It’s another thing to be effectively called a criminal for failure to comply with something that is so complex you can’t do it reasonably.”

“Unfortunately, what we see is that Louisiana is criminalizing small business normalcy. We don’t have the tools, we don’t have the resources, but we still have the same compliance demands, and it’s overwhelming, and at times I fear for the future of our small business and a lot of others. “

“And we talk to a lot of other companies. We know them. They’re people just like us. And they’re feeling just as stressed and overwhelmed as we are. They feel just as threatened by the liability of all these different jurisdictions. We need to see meaningful reform and if a lawsuit is the best way to move that forward, then we’ll do it.”


-Hillary Halstead-Scott and Brad Scott | Halstead Bead