Business

Central Sees Drop in Sales Taxes

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Sales tax collections have taken a downward turn in Central.  Sales tax figures in the city of Central for the period July 1, 2010 through February 28, 2011 show a decline in collections of 2.3% when compared to the same period last fiscal year.  The city’s fiscal year starts July 1 of each year.   For the eight month period starting July 1, 2010, the 2% general sales tax collections totaled $2,734,621 and motor vehicle sales tax collections totaled $621,956.09.  The eight month period starting July 1, 2009 through February 28, 2010, the 2% general sales tax collections totaled $2,775,636.10 and the motor vehicle sales tax collections totaled $650,245.00. 
 
The city of Central, the Central Chamber of Commerce, and the Central Community School System would like to remind everyone to “Shop Central First” to keep sales tax dollars here in Central.  School Superintendent Mike Faulk is working with the Mayor’s Office on a campaign to remind everyone on the importance of using “Central, LA” as your address when purchasing items and having them delivered to your home.  Sales taxes on delivered items are required to be submitted to the jurisdiction in which the delivery is made.  Supt. Faulk is making sure that all contractors working on the new school site are properly reporting their sales taxes to Central on the sales tax forms.  The Central Community School Systems receives a 2 ½% sales tax and the city receives a 2% sales tax on every dollar spent in Central.
 
Residents are reminded that when purchasing items to be delivered to your home, please use “Central, LA” to make sure that the city and the school system receive their proper sales taxes.   Both the school system and the city are working with the EBR Finance Department, which collects the sales taxes parishwide, to request sales tax audits of certain businesses that may not be properly recording sales taxes.

8 Comments

  1. Anon

    April 12, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I think our Central businesses are not being charged the correct taxes by their vendors. Most vendors are still using EBR parish tax codes and most do not know about Central. We sure have alot of construction going on for the taxes to be dropping!

  2. Juanda Levert

    April 12, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Since the post office won’t accept Central as a city, many vendors can’t use that name either. What can be done about that? I know this is true because I have tried to change all my debit and credit cards and most of my online payments to vendors, including WalMart and they won’t accept it either.

  3. Another Central resident

    April 12, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I wonder if this would have been an issue if we had choosen City of Greenwell Springs vs. City of Central since Greenwell Springs already had a zip code. I know the area has been called Central by locals for years but Greenwell Springs name had been around longer. Just a thought.

  4. resident

    April 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Most retail places ask for your zip code, not the city in which you live…

  5. Ward

    April 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I refuse to believe the culprit to the down turn is local citizens choosing not to “Shop Central First”. Before making that assumption, I would compare this data to several other cities during the same time frame. The economy is not as stable with gas prices and the sale of new vehicles as compared to last year. I also agree that the choice for internet shopping only includes Baton Rouge for some retailers that have a pick list of cities while others allow the city to be typed in the selection box.

  6. Ward

    April 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    …so the loss in general sales tax is about 1.5% and the loss in motor vehicle sales tax is about 4.4%

  7. David Barrow

    April 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    One of the reasons why motor vehicle taxes are down is because of Cash for Clunkers in August of 2009. That resulted in an abnormally high amount of motor vehicle sales taxes in August of 2009. If you factor out the extra amount collected in August 2009 due to that program, then motor vehicle sales taxes totals for this fiscal year are fairly in line with last year. Also, First Student bought a number of new school buses last year which caused a jump in motor vehicle sales taxes last fiscal year.

    The December sales taxes for general sales & use tax were disappointing in December 2010. They were down compared to last year. That is the biggest month for sales tax collections. Good news is that February’s sales tax numbers were up.

    As for the zip code issue, we know that the city and the school board are losing sales tax dollars to Baker, Zachary, and EBR because of this. In the last two years, the Office of Motor Vehicles has done an audit of sales taxes and discovered that Central was owed almost $120,000 in sales taxes erroneously sent to Baker, Zachary, or EBR. The Central School System was owed more than that as well. This money has been collected and remitted to the city and the school system.

    The zip code issue will continue to be a problem, since the Post Office has refused to help define Central’s zip code issues. When you go into Lowe’s, Home Depot, or another large chain, they ask for your zip code on deliveries. If you say 70818, it shows up as Baton Rouge. If you say 70739, it shows up as Greenwell Springs on their computers. The sales taxes are then sent to EBR because of this instead of Central. Local and mom-and-pop stores are more likely to get the zip code issue correct.

    I agree with Ward that the economy is down in other cities. Baton Rouge is suffering with a 5% loss in sales tax revenues. So, all in all, Central is not suffering as bad as some neighboring cities.

  8. Another Central Residnet

    April 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    That is why this area should have been called City of Greenwell Springs and try to expand the 70739 zip code.

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