Amazon began collecting local and state taxes in January, but there is no way to know if that has been a boost to the economy.
Webster Parish Sales and Use Tax Commission Administrator Cyndy Herrington said that while it may make a difference, specific tax information is confidential.
“We can’t reveal any numbers as far as sales tax,” she said. “Anything remitted to us is confidential, but we can disclose the total collected for a month for everyone, but we can’t point out any specific business.”
Louisiana Department of Revenue Public Information Officer Byron Henderson said the LDR is also prohibited from releasing specific numbers.
“We cannot know all the reasons that Amazon began collecting state sales taxes on purchases shipped to Louisiana, but the legislation passed in 2016 was presumably a factor,” he said.
In the 2016 regular session, the Louisiana Legislature passed Acts 22 and 569 which made it law that online companies must collect sales taxes from customers in Louisiana to which they ship their products to.
The total sales taxes collected in Webster Parish in February as compared to 2016 showed a 3.4 percent increase. In 2016, Webster Parish collected about $1.9 million, and in 2017, $2.02 million was collected.
Tax collection bodies in Webster Parish are the school board, the police jury, the Town of Sibley, the Town of Cotton Valley, the City of Minden, the Minden Economic Districts, the City of Springhill, the Towns of Cullen and Sarepta, the Villages of Doyline and Dixie Inn, the convention and visitors bureau and the law enforcement districts.
In January, the state collected $998 million in state sales taxes, according to LDR’s statement of net collections and distributions. These collections are from alcohol, corporate franchise, gasoline, inspection fees, inheritance taxes, sales taxes, severance, tobacco, mineral and gas and miscellaneous receipts.
“No reliable inferences can be drawn from these data with regard to the effect that any single factor or taxpayer has on total collections,” Henderson cautioned.