St. Charles businesses don’t remove sales tax during holiday

Letters to the Editor
August 09, 2013 at 11:01 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Dear Editor,
I assume that the state of Louisiana and St. Charles Parish instituted the sales tax holidays to provide an opportunity for the residents of the state and parish to purchase items and save the normal taxes paid on said purchases, thereby stimulating the economy and providing savings to the residents. This holiday takes place every year on the first Friday and Saturday of August. All items for personal use should be sales tax free with the exceptions of licensed vehicles, food prepared at a restaurant and some services and rentals.

On Friday, August 2 my wife shopped at the Dollar General store on Paul Maillard Road. She spent $75.48 and was charged 5 percent parish tax ($2.68) and 2 percent of some other tax ($1.09). On Saturday I shopped at Walgreens on Highway 90 spending $5.79 and was charged 4 percent (.23 cents) state tax. I then went to Racetrack on Highway 90 and was charged the full 9 percent tax on my entire intended purchase. When they refused to remove the tax from my $148 total, I refused the purchase and left.

Smokers’ Haven on Highway 90 charged the full tax also, however when I complained they removed the tax and sold the items tax free. Family Dollar charged me 5 percent parish tax on my purchase. On the bright side was Majoria’s Grocery that sold everything I purchased, including non-food items, tax free.

Why is there such a disparity in the taxes charged by these merchants? It seems to me that these tax free days provide a golden opportunity for our merchants to shine. Our parish is the only one providing tax free for two days. We should be drawing people from all the neighboring parishes to shop here and save. Instead, many of our merchants don’t obey the tax laws and overcharge their customers.

I have to wonder if the tax money collected is paid to the proper agencies or if it is used to increase profits on those days. No wonder our residents, more often than not, leave the parish to shop.Charles E. Hartman213 Oak LaneLuling

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