Tax Ordinance Seeks to Fix “Mistake”

An ordinance to “amend and restate” an existing 3/4% sales tax ordinance first adopted in 1984 was introduced at last night’s meeting of the Ruston City Council.

The new ordinance seeks to rectify what Mayor Ronny Walker and City Attorney Bill Carter claim is an error in the original tax ordinance document – that is a 20 year limitation on the levy. They say that the proposition passed by the city’s voters had no specific time limit, and the intent of the voters was that the tax should be considered permanent.

However, the actual ordinance document approved unanimously on 11/19/1984 by the Board of Aldermen, and signed by Mayor Elton Pody put a 20 year limit on the tax (pg 8). Collection of the tax began on 1/1/1985.

See here the original document in its entirety, with the proposition as presented to the voters.

This morning, a review of the document on file at the Lincoln Parish Clerk of Court showed it to be the same as the copy we have.

We also reviewed votes held in Lincoln Parish around the time the tax would have expired, and can find no record of a renewal tax vote held by the city.

If the document is legally binding, collection of the tax should have ceased on 12/31/2004.

There appears to be another significant issue in the proposed tax ordinance.

§8. Exclusions and Exemptions. The Governing Authority adopts none of the optional exclusions or exemptions allowed by State sales and use tax law, nor does the Governing Authority adopt any exclusions or exemptions authorized by legislation enacted under Article VI, Section 29 (D)(l) of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974, that are not allowed as an exclusion or exemption from State sales and use tax. Included within the Tax base is every transaction, whether sales, use, lease or rental, consumption, storage or service, with no exclusions or exemptions except for those mandated upon political subdivisions by the Constitution or statutes of the State of Louisiana, including the Act.

This provision may conflict with the original ordinance, which has several pages of exclusions and exemptions from the tax.

In other business, the council adopted property tax rates for the 2019 tax year.

8 Responses to “Tax Ordinance Seeks to Fix “Mistake””

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Doesn’t look like a typo

  2. RobinHood Says:

    Was it a mistake???might have been planned that way.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    So the city collected taxes for how many years without authority? sounds like some folks are due a refund… right?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Right.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t hold your Breath government not likely to give up money already collected.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Someone posted on facebook. Concerning the .tax assessor employee that refuse to correct a mistake made by him. A perfect example of government employee lying and refusing to correct.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

  8. Uh Oh Says:

    Is there sales tax on a new or existing home?

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