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Sales Tax Refunds Available to Louisiana Flood Victims

Secretary Bridges says residents of 22 parishes eligible

June 18, 2001

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana victims of Tropical Storm Allison who live in any of the 22 parishes that have been declared disaster areas by President Bush may be eligible for a refund of state sales taxes paid on personally owned movable property destroyed by flooding, according to Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges.

“Many of our citizens have suffered terrible losses in the recent flooding caused by Allison. Revised Statute 47:315.1 of the Louisiana Sales Tax Law allows the state to refund the sales tax paid by citizens who lost movable property that was not reimbursable by insurance,” Bridges says. Bridges adds that the losses must have occurred in the following parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Beauregard, East Baton Rouge, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermillion, and Washington.

In order for a claim to be processed by the Department of Revenue, Bridges says a citizen’s loss must meet the following guidelines:

* The loss was not reimbursable by insurance.
* The loss must be suffered by a natural person to property used in or about the citizen’s home, apartment, or homestead. Property owned by other than a natural person, such as a corporation, partnership, or any type of business, does not qualify for a sales tax refund.
* The statute only authorizes refunds of sales taxes paid on the original acquisition of destroyed property and not on the acquisition of replacement property.
* The destroyed property eligible for a sales tax refund must have been moveable, both at the time of its purchase and at the time of its destruction. Sales taxes paid on components that become parts of buildings, homes, or other fixed structures are not eligible for refund. Accordingly, no refund is authorized for taxes paid by a homeowner on such fixed items as wall-to-wall carpeting, cooling or heating systems, lighting fixtures, lavatories, or wall structures. Refunds can be made for taxes paid on movables such as clothing, boats, appliances, or furniture.
* State sales or use tax must have been paid on the acquisition of the destroyed property by the person making the claim. If the property was acquired by the person suffering the loss without the payment of the state sales or use tax, or if the purchase was made in another state, or if the destroyed property was acquired as a gift, then a refund cannot be issued under this statute.

Bridges says any person suffering a movable property loss from Tropical Storm Allison must file a claim with the Department of Revenue. Further information and forms for filing for the sales tax refunds can be obtained by contacting any of the following regional offices of the Department: Alexandria, 900 Murray Street, Room B-100, (318) 487-5333; Baton Rouge (Headquarters Office), 330 North Ardenwood Drive, (225) 925-7356; Baton Rouge (Regional Office), 8490 Picardy Avenue, (225) 763-5700; Lafayette, 825 Kaliste Saloom Road, Brandywine III, Suite, 150, (337) 262-5455; Lake Charles, One Lakeshore Drive, Suite 1550, (337) 491-2504; Monroe, 122 St. John Street, Room 105, (318) 362-3151; New Orleans, 1555 Poydras Street, Suite 900, (504) 568-5233; Shreveport, 1525 Fairfield Avenue, (318) 676-7505; and Thibodaux, 1418 Tiger Drive, (985) 447-0976.