Louisiana is one of three states that does not have a centralized sales tax collection process. Instead, we make it a logistical nightmare to open up shop in our state by requiring businesses to file taxes with over 50 tax collection agencies.  The first of the constitutional amendments on the ballot this November aims to simplify the way sales taxes are collected in Louisiana, making it easier to be an entrepreneur in the Pelican State.

Louisiana’s economy has struggled for years as jobs and opportunities have left the Pelican state for more competitive states like Texas and Florida. Louisiana’s complex tax collection process makes it difficult for small businesses to invest and create jobs in our state.

Businesses that sell across different parishes in Louisiana must file taxes in every parish in which they are making sales. This fact greatly complicates the tax process for businesses and increases the compliance cost when filing taxes. When comparing this to the streamlined process almost all other states use, this makes Louisiana’s tax filling far more onerous and costly. If amendment #1 passes, we would start the process of streamlining Louisiana’s tax system and condense over 50 taxing authorities into one commission.  This allows the central collector to remit the revenue to state and local jurisdictions, rather than forcing job creators to navigate the complex web of local taxing authorities. The amendment will add clarity and ease of access to our business climate, encouraging job creation and attracting new businesses to Louisiana.

This central collector would consist of members appointed by and for local government, the state executive branch, and the legislative branch. The commission would provide for electronic filing, remit revenue to local taxing authorities and to the state revenue department, issue policy advice, and develop auditing rules. The commission would be funded by sales and use tax revenue.

Louisiana’s current tax system is notoriously onerous for those trying to run and expand their businesses into the Pelican State. To make Louisiana more competitive with our neighbors and to encourage job creation in our state, we should look to streamline our sales tax collection process.