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      RS 47:337.102     

  

§337.102. Louisiana Uniform Local Sales Tax Board; creation; membership; powers and duties

            A. Creation of the board. The Louisiana Uniform Local Sales Tax Board, hereinafter referred to in this Section as "board", is hereby created as a political subdivision of the state as such term is defined in the Constitution of Louisiana. The board shall be subject to all legal requirements applicable to a public body, including procurement, ethics, record retention, fiscal and budgetary controls, and legislative audit in the same manner as any local political subdivision. The domicile of the board shall be East Baton Rouge Parish. The board may meet and conduct business at other locations within the state of Louisiana.

            B. Board membership and organization. (1) The board shall consist of eight members, as follows:

            (a) The executive director of the Louisiana Municipal Association.

            (b) The executive director of the Louisiana School Boards Association.

            (c) The executive director of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana.

            (d) The executive director of the Louisiana Sheriffs Association.

            (e) The head of a single parish collector's office appointed by the executive board of the Louisiana Municipal Association.

            (f) The head of a single parish collector's office appointed by the board of directors of the Louisiana School Boards Association.

            (g) The head of a single parish collector's office appointed by the executive board of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana.

            (h) The head of a single parish collector's office appointed by the executive committee of the Louisiana Sheriff's Association.

            (2) The board members established in Subparagraphs (B)(1)(a) through (d) of this Section shall be permanent members of the board.

            (3) The board member appointments provided for in Subparagraphs (B)(1)(e) through (h) of this Section shall be made no later than August 31, 2017. Employees, legal counsel, and vendors of a single parish collector's office shall not be eligible for appointment to the board. Members appointed to the board pursuant to Subparagraphs (B)(1)(e) through (h) of this Section shall serve at the pleasure of the respective appointing authority. The appointing authorities shall coordinate their appointments to the board in order that the board's membership is representative of the diverse regions of the state and to ensure that no two members represent a single parish.

            (4) A permanent member of the board may appoint a designee to attend board meetings and vote by proxy on his behalf, the procedure for which shall be determined by rule of the board.

            (5) The board shall hold its organizational meeting no later than October 15, 2017, at which time it shall elect a chairman, vice chairman, and such other officers as determined necessary at the first meeting.

            (6) Board members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

            C. Powers and duties of the board. The board may:

            (1) Support and advise local sales and use tax collectors concerning the imposition, collection, and administration of local sales and use taxes authorized under the constitution and laws of this state.

            (2) Promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with Part H of Chapter 2-D of Subtitle II of Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

            (3) Enter into agreements with local tax collectors.

            (4) Enter into contracts for the services of legal counsel, analysts, auditors, appraisers, and witnesses, as well as any agency or department of the state or any state or local political subdivision.

            (5) Issue policy advice on matters concerning the imposition, collection, and administration of local sales and use tax.

            (6) Prescribe uniform forms and model procedures to be used by local sales and use tax collectors.

            (7) Procure the development of computer software and equipment for the collection and administration of local sales and use taxes.

            (8) Employ an executive director, and any necessary agents, assistants, auditors, clerks, inspectors, investigators, or other experts and employees.

            (9) Issue private letter rulings when requested pursuant to this Section as to the imposition, collection, and administration of local sales and use tax.

            D. Issuance of policy advice.

            (1) The board may issue policy advice intended to provide guidance to taxpayers or dealers with respect to any local sales and use tax issue. A taxpayer or dealer may request a private letter ruling from the board by sending a certified letter to the board and to the respective local tax collectors. Prior to the issuance of a private letter ruling, the board may solicit additional information from the respective local tax collectors. A private letter ruling issued by the board shall be transmitted by certified mail simultaneously to both the requesting party and the respective local tax collectors. A private letter ruling shall be posted in redacted form on the board's website within ten days of its issuance.

            (2) If a request for a private letter ruling involves a single local tax collector, the tax collector may elect to decline to participate in the private letter ruling process provided for in this Subsection with respect to that request for a private letter ruling by notifying the board and the requesting party within ten days of receipt of the request. If the board receives this notification, the board shall decline the request for the ruling.

            (3) Except as otherwise provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, a private letter ruling shall bind the decision or discretion of a local tax collector served with notice of the request pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection. However, any party to the dispute may seek a review of the ruling within twenty days of the date of its certified mailing by filing a petition to the Local Tax Division of the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals. The only grounds for overturning a private letter ruling on appeal shall be that the ruling is contrary to law or a controlling ordinance, conflicts with pre-existing jurisprudence, or otherwise is clearly arbitrary and capricious. Any private letter ruling that is appealed shall be stayed until the appeal is resolved by final judgment or by settlement.

            E. Rulemaking. The board, after consultation with the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators, hereinafter referred to in this Section as "LATA", is hereby authorized and directed to promulgate rules and regulations pursuant to R.S. 47:337.94. The board shall request a non-binding recommendation from LATA prior to the issuance of a rule or regulation. The recommendation shall be submitted to the board within thirty days of the request, and a failure on the part of LATA to provide a recommendation shall not preclude the promulgation of a rule or regulation by the board.

            F. Voluntary disclosure program. The board shall promulgate rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act to establish a uniform voluntary disclosure program for taxpayers seeking relief from penalties in cases where a liability to more than one local sales and use tax collector is owed. The board shall accept applications from taxpayers seeking to participate in the program and may issue a recommendation for the waiver of penalties for taxpayers who have complied with program requirements, including full payment of taxes and interest. This recommendation shall be binding on local tax collectors absent fraud, material misrepresentation, or any such misrepresentation of the facts by the taxpayer.

            G. Refunds. The board shall establish uniform standards and forms for the purpose of refund requests for all local sales and use taxes. The refund denial form shall include notice to taxpayers that a refund request denial is appealable to the Board of Tax Appeals, and shall provide specific information as to deadlines and other requirements as provided by law for such an appeal. The board shall serve as the central filing agency for all refund claims involving two or more Louisiana parishes having transactions similar in fact. The filing of a refund claim with the board shall suspend the running of prescription. The board shall notify the respective tax collector within fifteen days of receipt of a refund request. The function of the board with respect to refund requests shall be ministerial in nature and the board shall have no authority over the approval or denial of a request.

            H. Multi-parish audits. The board may develop a coordinated multi-parish audit process which may be requested by a taxpayer having a location in the state and registered to file and remit local sales and use taxes pursuant to a local ordinance in at least three parishes. If a coordinated multi-parish audit program is developed, the program shall be implemented through a pilot program prior to statewide availability.

            I. Funding. (1) The board shall be funded through a dedication of a percentage of the total statewide collections of local sales and use tax on motor vehicles, in accordance with the limitations provided in this Paragraph and the budgetary policy as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection. Monies shall be payable monthly from the current collections of the tax. The dedication shall be considered a cost of collection and shall be deducted by the state and disbursed to the board prior to distribution of tax collections to local taxing authorities. The dedication shall be in addition to any fee imposed by the office of motor vehicles for the collection of the local sales and use tax on motor vehicles. The amount to be disbursed to the board in any fiscal year shall not, under any circumstances and notwithstanding any budget adopted by the board, exceed the following:

            (a) In Fiscal Year 2017-2018, one-fifth of one percent of the collections.

            (b) In Fiscal Year 2018-2019, one-quarter of one percent of the collections.

            (c) In Fiscal Year 2019-2020 and each fiscal year thereafter, three-tenths of one percent of the collections.

            (2)(a) The actual amount to be disbursed to the board by the office of motor vehicles in any fiscal year shall be determined by the requirements of the annual budget adopted by the board for that year, subject to the limitations established in Subparagraphs (a) through (c) of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection. To accomplish this, by the first day of June each year the chairman of the board shall notify the commissioner of the office of motor vehicles regarding the amount to be disbursed to the board for the ensuing fiscal year, with the exception of Fiscal Year 2018, when the date for such notification shall be determined by agreement of the chairman and the commissioner.

            (b) The board shall develop and adopt a budget as required by the Louisiana Local Government Budget Act, R.S. 39:1301, et seq. The board shall have the same fiscal year as the state. The adopted budget may be amended as deemed necessary by the board.

            (3) If use tax collections pursuant to R.S. 47:302(K) yields insufficient revenue to fulfill the dedication made pursuant to R.S. 47:302(K)(7) for interagency transfers to the Department of State Civil Service, Board of Tax Appeals, Local Tax Division, the board shall pay any remaining amount necessary to satisfy the dedication, which payment shall be made into the Local Tax Division Expense Fund within the first thirty days of the fiscal year. The board is authorized to enter into an agreement with the Department of State Civil Service, Board of Tax Appeals, Local Tax Division to pay an amount sufficient to compensate the Local Tax Division for workload increases.

            J. Employees. Employees of the board shall serve in unclassified positions.

            K. The board shall adopt a strategic plan for its operations, which shall include specific goals and objectives. The plan shall be adopted by July 1, 2018.

            L. The board shall provide for the education and training of collectors of local sales and use taxes. Programs shall be offered from time to time as determined by the board, but not less than once per fiscal year.

            Acts 2017, No. 274, §2, eff. June 16, 2017.



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