Louisiana's annual sales tax holiday is this Friday and Saturday, but the discount isn't as deep as it's been in previous years. 

Typically, "sales tax holidays" give buyers a full pass on the state's portion of sales tax, which is 5 percent as of this year. But because of the state's unprecedented budget woes, the weekend discount is only 2 percent. 

The sales tax relief doesn't apply to local sales taxes, which is typically at least another 4 or 5 percent.

That means, if you're shopping this weekend in East Baton Rouge Parish, sales taxes will amount to 8 percent instead of the usual 10 percent. 

In February, the Louisiana Legislature met in a special session to close a $900 million mid-year shortfall for the year, and chip away at a $2 billion shortfall for the current fiscal year which began July 1. 

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Part of the solution called for temporarily eliminating and scaling back dozens of sales tax exemptions. Another part of the plan called for increasing the total sales tax statewide by a penny. 

An earlier scheduled sales tax holiday in May for hurricane preparedness items was totally voided this year as a result, and the sales tax discounts for the remaining holidays are reduced. 

The sales tax holiday this week, which applies to most retail goods, doesn't apply to cars, meals, services or admissions. 

On Sept. 2 through 4, another tax holiday for guns and ammunition will also be impacted. Dubbed the annual "Louisiana Second Amendment weekend sales tax holiday," firearm and hunting supplies will also only get the 2 percent discount instead of the full five percent. 


Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.