Just when you think it’s safe to roam the gardens surrounding our State Capitol, the Legislature shows up and we outdoors folks have to guard our wallets.
The latest move comes from what Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, certainly believes is an honest effort to help discover a solution for our state budget woes that neither our legislators nor our governor can find.
Montoucet is listed in the state roster as “Alligator farmer; owner Jacques’ Croc’s & Farm Pride Processors; Retired Lafayette Fire Dept. - Chief.”
It’s with all that expertise that he’s authored House Concurrent Resolution 15, a move that, in its wording, “suspends annual state sales tax holidays until 60 days after adjournment of the 2016 Regular Session of the Legislature.”
There’s three “sales tax holidays” that directly affect most folks I know: the Hurricane Holiday, the School Supplies Holiday, and the Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday.
On the first two of those special weekends, merchants stock up on batteries, flashlights, radios, etc. for the hurricane season, and parents with youngsters get a sales tax break on paper, pencils, bookbags, etc. for the start of school. That’s good for them, and you have to spend about $100 to save $5 for your family.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday.
This one is for hunters and saving a few dollars on hunting weapons, ammo, camo clothing and other hunting items finally has become a way for our state to repay its outdoorsmen for the millions in sales tax they’ve pumped into the state’s General Fund year after year, decade after decade.
What’s worse in this scenario is none of this General Fund money is funneled into the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for wildlife management area habitat, nor for wildlife study, nor for improved access in WMAs, nor for improved roads to help us get to boat launches, nor for boat launches to access areas where we can hunt game and migratory waterfowl.
It’s the Louisiana outdoorsmen who fund Wildlife and Fisheries with the licenses and special stamps purchases, and buying special vehicle license places marked with black bear, quail, ducks and largemouth bass. Most of what the LDWF does comes from our wallets, not from what should be a small percentage of the state sales tax their activities generate.
While it doesn’t carry the weight of a bill, Montoucet’s resolution, should it take effect, is more short-sighted when considering that our well-established Second Amendment State Tax Holiday. It should be noted that this three-day period at the start of the hunting season is a boon to every outdoors shop in our state and has been copied by Mississippi.
Put the quietus on that special weekend in our state, and it’s a very short drive across the state line,
HCR 15 passed House vote and is in the Senate.