Should Louisiana limit its 2nd Amendment sales tax holiday?
- May 8, 2017 | Gail Cole
Louisiana and Mississippi are the only two states to provide a 2nd Amendment sales tax holiday, although tax-free periods for firearms and ammunition are under consideration this session in Arkansas and Tennessee, and Texas has considered one in the past.
In Mississippi, only ammunition, firearms, and a limited number of hunting supplies are eligible for the tax-free period. By contrast, Louisiana’s 2nd Amendment sales tax holiday is quite broad: Among other items, it allows an exemption for animal feed, float tubes, off-road vehicles, and certain vessels.
That would change if Senate Bill 22 is enacted. The measure seeks to limit the 2nd Amendment holiday to ammunition, firearms, and select hunting supplies. Specifically, it seeks to remove the following from the list of exempt items:
- Animal feed
- Float tubes
- Tree stands
- Off-road vehicles
According to the bill’s fiscal note, the tax-free period is expected to cost the state $900,000 in FY17. Of that, approximately $400,000 comes from vehicles and vessels that SB 22 would exclude from the sales tax holiday.
The legislature has considered removing vehicles and vessels from the list of eligible items in the past, with no success. This year, bill sponsor Sen. Barrow Peacock brought ATV dealers to testify in favor of the measure before the Senate committee. They explained that “any uptick in purchases [during the tax holiday] was offset by paying staff overtime for the weekend and spending money advertising the tax holiday” (The Times-Picayune).
Sales tax holidays are generally quite popular among consumers who save on sales tax, but they evoke more mixed feelings among vendors. Although they can bring in more revenue, they also generally increase costs (Do sales tax holidays make good cents?).
The following items would remain exempt under Louisiana SB 22:
- Archery supplies
- Arrow rests and quivers
- Belts (for hunting)
- Binoculars (for hunting)
- Bows, bow cases, releases, sights and stabilizers
- Firearm and archery accessories
- Hearing protection and enhancement
- Hunting apparel
- Knives manufactured and marketed primarily for hunting use
No matter what they exempt or don’t exempt, tax-free periods complicate sales and use tax compliance for businesses that sell eligible items. Tax automation software helps facilitate compliance year-round. Learn how it works.