NewsCovering Louisiana


Court: Sending part of car tax to new board unconstitutional

Posted at 10:12 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 23:12:00-05

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A state law that sends a small percentage of local governments' motor vehicle sales taxes to a state board is unconstitutional, Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

At issue in is part of a 2017 law establishing the Uniform Local Sales Tax Board.

The panel was established to provide guidance to local sales tax officials on tax collections. It was to be funded with .2 percent of local sale taxes on motor vehicles.

But, in a legal challenge by St. James and Plaquemines Parish taxing bodies, the high court upheld a district court ruling that the state cannot divert a portion of the locally approved motor vehicle taxes to the board.

"What is apparent is that the voters did not authorize those sales and use tax proceeds to be directed for a use to be determined by the legislature," Wednesday's opinion said. "Moreover, the voters did not expressly authorize the use of any of those sales and use tax proceeds by the legislature for purposes of funding the Board."

The board's director declined to comment until after the board's next meeting.