Sales tax holiday should help small businesses

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

BATON ROUGE —Renee Baker, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says the Aug. 6-7 sales tax will be a big help to small businesses still recovering from the recession.

“Sales tax holidays are great for families trying to stretch a dollar, but they’re also great for small businesses,” Baker said. “They get people excited and in the mood to shop, and that’s exactly what our economy needs right now.

“We think this year’s sales-tax holiday will really help businesses along the Gulf Coast who’ve been hurt by the drop in spending since the Deepwater Horizon disaster this spring,” she said.

“Small business is the engine that drives Louisiana’s economy,” Baker said. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for about 98 percent of all employers in the state and employ about 54 percent of the state’s private-sector workforce.

“The bottom line is that the more we can increase consumer spending at our small businesses, the more jobs we save, and the faster our economy will recover,” Baker said.

The 2010 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday takes place Friday, August 6, and Saturday, August 7. On these two days, most retail purchases are exempt from the four-percent state sales tax.

By state law, the holiday takes place each year on the first consecutive Friday and Saturday in August.

The sales tax exemption applies to the first $2,500 of the purchase price of most individual items of tangible personal property for non-business use.

The exemption applies only to the four-percent state sales tax.

It does not apply to sales taxes collected by parishes, towns, school boards, and other taxing authorities. All retailers are required to participate by offering the tax exemption at the time of sale.

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 occupancy and athletic admissions.

Retailers may take advantage of a $25 tax credit to offset the cost of reprogramming their cash registers. Information about the credit is available in Revenue Information Bulletin No. 03-009.

For more information about the 2010 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday, visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/taxholiday.