Pay NO taxes on Aug. 5, 6

David Stell, of Stell Furniture in Luling
David Stell, of Stell Furniture in Luling, moves a washing machine to his store window for the upcoming Sales Tax Holiday. Appliances and furniture are some of the top sellers during the tax holiday.

On Aug. 5-6, St. Charles will be the only parish in the state that will suspend all sales taxes on most retail purchases.

The Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and continues through midnight on Saturday. School supplies, hurricane protection items, furniture, TVs, appliances and even alcohol and tobacco products are just a few of the many items that will be available tax free.

The amount of the taxes that will be waived include 2 percent from the parish, 3 percent from the School Board and 4 percent from the state, for a total of 9 percent.

Only items that cost $2,500 or less are available tax free, but that still means residents can save as much as $225 on a single purchase. Historically, the tax holiday provides a major boost to local retailers because most residents choose to shop inside the parish and several shoppers from other areas come to St. Charles to get a discount.

“It does provide a boost to us because it’s like everyone waits until that time to come,” David Stell, owner of Stell Furniture in Luling, said. “We sell just about everything. Appliances and furniture are big sellers.

“People don’t purchase real expensive stuff…it’s usually the things they need but have just put off for a while until the weekend comes around.”

Edwin Hartman, with Hartman’s True Value Hardware in Boutte, said most of the customers who shop at his store during the Sales Tax Holiday purchase power equipment.

“People know when that weekend is coming around and they try to hold off until that weekend to make a purchase,” he said. “We are pretty busy (every year).”

While furniture, appliances, TVs and other luxury items sell well during the tax-free weekend, residents are urged to use the holiday to save on the purchases of back-to-school supplies and hurricane preparedness items.

Items not eligible for the tax exemption include vehicles subject to license and title, most meals, laundry services, and purchases of taxable services such as hotel rooms and athletic admissions.

In the past there have been a handful of businesses around the parish that do not take off the full 9 percent tax. This is mostly because they are not capable of changing their registers to reflect the abatement of the tax. However, if a resident does end up paying any sales tax over the weekend, they can get refunded.

To do so, they must bring their receipt to the parish’s tax collection office, located at 13855 River Road in Luling, to get a refund of the local portion, which is 5 percent. To get a refund of the state portion, which is 4 percent, the resident must request it from the store where they made the purchase.

Though the refunds are offered, residents rarely visit the sales tax office to collect them.

“We make it really easy for residents to come by our office and get the reimbursement of the local portion, but most businesses take off the tax,” Paula Jeansonne, director of Tax Collections for the parish, said. “Last year, we only had one person bring in a receipt.”

Jeansonne estimates that the parish and schools lose out on about $40,000 to $50,000 in revenue during the Sales Tax Holiday.


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