Louisiana sales tax revenue increased this year compared to last year. More than $9-billion has been collected according to the department of revenue. One of the reasons is more people paying a use tax.
"You get a lot of good deals on some of the websites. So I like to do the electronic shopping like CDs and DVDs online" says Walter Brown.
But shopping online or out of state does not mean tax-free shopping.
"If you were to go into another state and purchase something and that state did not charge you the taxes, when you bring that item back to the state of la then a use tax is due in lieu of the sales tax" says Richard Jefferson, the revenue tax director in the Shreveport office. He defines use tax as "tangible, personal property. That is anything that you can see, feel, move, whatever the case maybe."
So that new flat screen, washer / dryer or even MP3 song.
"It's very, very difficult to track alot of these items down. I think that the department of revenue they just want everybody to be aware that these items are in deed taxable" says Jefferson. But he also says do not take your chances. "If they are audited then we would be able to look at them that way."
Brown says it is easy to pay up at the end of the year. "You have a running record if you buy something with a credit card, you can always go back and look at what you ordered online and then calculate it."
The use tax is 8-percent, 4-percent goes to the state and 4-percent goes to your local government. You claim purchases on your income tax return or on the department of revenue website.
Taxes collected by the department of revenue are turned over to the treasurer's office. It's then dispersed based on the state's budget for things like schools, repairing roads and new construction.