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Jun 3, 2013 7:45 PM by Alex Labat

Lafayette Businesses Might Lose Sales Tax Rebate

Later this month, the Lafayette City-Parish Council will reconsider a change to the way Lafayette's been doing business for 50 years.
It all deals with a sales tax rebate.
Here's how it works. Businesses who turn in their sales taxes to the city on time get a rebate of 2% of their total sales taxes.
But some on the Lafayette City-Parish Council feel this practice should end.
Back in February, an ordinance was introduced that would have done away with the rebate, meaning LCG would keep all sales taxes.
That ordinance was eventually tabled because of opposition and a request from the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce that discussion of the ordinance be delayed.

Business in Lafayette is booming.
The Parish was recently voted number one in economic development and job growth.
But some feel ending rebates businesses get for paying their taxes on time could stunt that economic growth.
"Any incentives that are in place to help businesses to come to our community, and this being one of them, needs to be utilized and has been and will continue that growth for Lafayette Parish in bringing other businesses to this area", says Fred Hoyt, President of "Smoke 'N' Go", a Lafayette business.

Lafayette Businesses currently get 2% of their total sales taxes back for turning in their taxes on time.
That rebate, if done away with, could generate 1.4 million dollars for the city of Lafayette, and more than one hundred thousand dollars for the parish.

Councilman Donald Bertrand says, "The question then becomes, is it a widespread enough practice of collecting the taxes early and giving that rebate that is of benefit to Lafayette to get the taxes in early? Or is it a bigger loss to the city or the parish to not have those funds?"

And while sales taxes wouldn't go up for customers, businesses would no longer be compensated for collecting the tax.
"It just reimburses us for some of the costs of collecting, of recording, and remitting the sales tax dollars for the parish government as well as pay it on time. We have to pay it on the 20th or we don't get that two percent", says Hoyt.



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