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Louisiana Parish Illegally Collected Expired Sales Tax


What happens when the term for a voter-approved sales tax expires? Its collection must cease. But what happens if no one realizes it expired? That's apparently what transpired in not just one but three municipalities in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

According to an article in the American Press:

  • A one-cent sales tax in Gibsland should have expired in 1996.
  • A one-cent sales tax in Castor should have expired in 1998.
  • A one-cent sales tax in Arcadia should have expired in June of this year.

Now what?

The errors came to light during an audit that was part of a criminal investigation of Gibsland. Concerns "about the mayor's actions and spending practices" led the representatives of the state legislative auditors to the Gibsland Town Hall. It was those representatives who uncovered the illegal collection of the expired sales tax.

Arcadia Mayor Eugene Smith said "he was unaware his town's tax had expired." The Arcadia School Board' "acts as the parish's tax collecting agency," and they didn't notify the mayor of the expiration.

Collections of all of the penny sales taxes can resume if and when the voters approve them. At the earliest, that could happen with a special election on December 8, 2012.

Current sales tax rates for these Bienville Parish towns, effective October 1, 2012, are listed below.

Jurisdiction Name
City/Town Rate
Combined Local Rate State Rate
Total Rate
Arcadia
1.00% 4.00%
4.00% 8.00%
Castor
- 3.00%
4.00%
7.00%
Gibsland
1.00%
4.00% 4.00%
8.00%

Sales tax rates effective through September 30, 2012, which include the erroneously collected one-cent sales expired sales taxes. are listed below.

Jurisdiction Name
City/Town Rate
Combined Local Rate State Rate
Total Rate
Arcadia
2.00% 5.00%
4.00% 9.00%
Castor
1.00%
4.00%
4.00%
8.00%
Gibsland
2.00%
5.00% 4.00%
9.00%

Rodney Warren, the Bienville Police Jury Secretary, who also sits on the Sales and Use Tax Commission Board, said he did not believe there was any "willful neglect" in the matter.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.