Louisiana bill would offer tax exemption for certain trucks, trailers

| 12/12/2006

An effort to prevent trucking companies in Louisiana from buying and registering their vehicles outside the state is awaiting consideration on the floor of the state's House.

The Louisiana Legislature is meeting in a special session with the primary focus on what to do with an anticipated budget surplus of $827 million from the past fiscal year and another $800 million expected during the current fiscal year. Other bills drawing consideration would include tax breaks.

Sponsored by Rep. Taylor Townsend, D-Natchitoches, the bill is intended to establish a distinct set of criteria for determining eligibility for tax exemption for a subset of the trucks and trailers covered by the state's current rule.

Currently, state law exempts from sales tax trucks weighing 26,000 pounds or more and trailers if they are used at least 80 percent of the time in interstate commerce under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Townsend's bill - HB69 - would exempt trucks weighing at least 80,000 pounds with apportioned plates through the International Registration Plan from state and local sales and use taxes. In addition, it makes no mention of the term "interstate commerce" or the 80 percent use rule in current law.

Trailers that are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. DOT also would qualify for the tax exemption.

- By Keith Goble, state legislative editor