State senators balked Monday at temporarily suspending Louisiana’s annual sales tax holiday for gun purchases, a proposal aimed at helping close a hefty state budget shortfall.
As approved by the House, legislation by Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, the measure would have suspended all of Louisiana’s state sales tax holidays during the upcoming 2015-16 budget year, to save $4.3 million.
Louisiana has three such holidays: one in May for up to $1,500 on the purchase of hurricane preparedness supplies, one in August for general purchases up to $2,500 and one in September for firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies.
The Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee refused to suspend the sales tax holiday for gun and hunting supplies, stripping it from House Concurrent Resolution 15 before advancing it to the full Senate for consideration.
Committee Chairman Neil Riser, R-Columbia, pushed to remove the gun sales tax holiday, saying businesses have bought hundreds of thousands of dollars in inventory for that weekend.
He said keeping the sales tax holiday in place would cost the state $600,000 next year.
Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, opposed the protection of the gun sales tax holiday, saying he disagreed with giving that preference over a tax holiday to buy hurricane preparedness supplies.
But he couldn’t persuade his colleagues. The committee voted 7-2 to remove the gun sales tax holiday from the suspension legislation.