Sales, Use, and Occupational License Tax
Sewer and Garbage User Fees
Use, and Occupational License Tax
Are businesses with internet sales required to collect sales tax
on their sales?
Generally, businesses with internet sales are not required to collect
tax on those internet sales. However, if the business has a presence in East
Baton Rouge Parish or delivers into East Baton Rouge Parish in its own
trucks, it should register for and collect East Baton Rouge Parish
sales tax on the sales it makes to East Baton Rouge Parish customers.
When are sales taxes due?
The due date for all registered filers is the 1st of the month in
which the tax is due. A return is considered delinquent after the 20th
of the same month. If the 20th falls on a weekend or holiday, the
return must be postmarked by the next work day to be considered paid
Which date is used to determine if a return is paid on time?
The U.S. Post Office postmark is used to determine if a return is paid
If I do not have any sales or purchases for a certain month, do I
still need to file a sales tax return?
Yes. A return is required to be filed even though you have no sales
within the jurisdiction. Please indicate on the return the number "0"
in the appropriate columns.
How do I obtain local sales tax forms?
There are several ways to obtain the
Sales and Use Tax Report form.
You may call the Revenue Division, Taxpayer Assistance Section, at
(225) 389-3084 to request that a form be mailed to you or you can access a pdf version of
the form online on our Tax Forms page.
Forms may also be picked up at the Revenue Division's offices located in
City Hall, Room 404, at 222 St. Louis Street, Baton
Rouge, Louisiana between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday
To what transactions is sales tax applied?
The sales and use tax is
levied on the following transactions:
The sale of tangible
personal property at retail in this parish.
The use, consumption,
distribution, or storage for use or consumption in this parish of
any tangible personal property.
The lease or rental of
tangible personal property within this parish.
The sale of services as
defined in the ordinance, which includes the furnishing of rooms by
hotels, the sale of admission to places of amusement and to athletic
and recreational events, and the furnishing of privileges of access
to amusement, entertainment, athletic or recreational facilities;
the furnishing of storage or parking privileges by parking lots; the
furnishing of printing and over-printing; the furnishing of laundry,
cleaning, pressing, and dyeing services; the furnishing of cold
storage space and the preparation of property for such storage; and
the furnishing of repairs to tangible personal property.
What are the sales and use tax rates for all
taxing jurisdictions in East Baton Rouge Parish and how are sales taxes
Use Tax Rates
For questions about the sales and use tax rates, please contact the Finance
Department, Revenue Division, at (225) 389-3084 or send an email to
Are there any
exemptions from the sales tax?
The Sales and Use Tax Ordinance and
state law exempts or excludes certain transactions from sales and use tax.
Specific information regarding exemptions and exclusions can be obtained from
the Revenue Division. Some of the major exemptions and exclusions are
Sales of gasoline, natural
gas, steam, and water when delivered to consumers via mains, pipes
or conduits, electric power, newspapers, fertilizers, and containers
used for farm products when sold directly to the farmer.
Isolated or occasional sales
of tangible personal property by someone not engaged in the business
of selling that type of property. Casual or isolated sales
shall not apply to the sale of vehicles.
Sales of human tissue
transplants including all human organs, bone, skin, cornea, blood,
or blood products transplanted from one person into another
Sales of electricity for
chlor-alkali manufacturing processes.
Sales to bona fide fire
Purchases of motor vehicles
for lease and autos for rental.
Purchases made with Food
Stamps and WIC Vouchers.
Purchases by state and local
What is the mailing address for sales
and use tax returns?
Sales Tax Section
Department of Finance - Revenue Division
City of Baton Rouge
P. O. Box 2590
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-2590
Which columns should be used in completing the Sales and Use Tax Report form?
Column ‘A’ - Used to report data that relates to the City of Baton
Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish School District.
Column ‘B’ - Used to report data that relates to the unincorporated
areas of the Parish of East Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish School
Column ‘C’ - Used to report data that relates to the unincorporated
areas of the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Zachary School District.
Column 'D' - Used to report data that relates to the City of Baker,
Baker School District.
Column 'E' - Used to report data that relates to the City of Baker, East
Baton Rouge Parish School District.
Column 'F' - Used to report data that relates to the City of Zachary,
Zachary School District.
Column 'G' - Used to report data that relates to the City of Central,
Central Community School Board.
Column 'H' - Used to report data that relates to the unincorporated
areas of the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Central Community School Board.
What do I do if I owe taxes, but am
unable to pay by the due date?
Submit your return by the due date. Any amount paid
with your return will reduce the amount of interest and late payment penalty
charges. The Revenue Division will bill you for the remainder of tax,
interest, and penalties that are owed.
What do I do to set up arrangements to pay an outstanding tax liability?
Any local businesses that would like to make arrangements
to clear outstanding tax liabilities should contact the Revenue Division - Field
Enforcement Section at (225) 389-3088, extension 703. For those businesses
that are located outside of East Baton Rouge Parish or out-of-state, please
contact the Revenue Division, Taxpayer Assistance Section, at (225) 389-3084.
How do I file an amended return?
If you have a copy of the original return which was
submitted to the Revenue Division, make the corrections on that copy and
resubmit it to the Department of Finance-Revenue Division, P.O. Box 2590, Baton
Rouge, LA 70821. If the amended return requires additional payment,
please remit payment with the amended form. If the amended return results
in a refund, please refer to the Refund
How can I become a "Quarterly" filer?
Dealers whose sales tax liabilities average less than $50
per month after filing 12 returns may apply to file on a quarterly basis.
If you average more than $50 per month, you will be required to file on a
How do I request a refund of taxes paid?
Please refer to the
Refund Application Instructions for questions concerning refund requests.
What are local sales taxes used for?
How do I obtain an
The City of Baton Rouge levies a 2% sales and use tax,
which is used for general municipal purposes and for servicing bonded
Unincorporated areas of the
Parish levy a 2% sales and use tax, which is used for general
parochial purposes and for servicing bonded indebtedness.
The City of Baker levies a
2-1/2% sales and use tax (effective 10/1/01)for use by that
The City of Zachary levies a 2% sales and use
tax for use by that municipality.
The City of Central levies a
2% sales and use tax for use by that municipality (effective July
The East Baton Rouge Parish
School Board levies a 2% sales tax for teacher salaries and benefits
and school system general operations.
The City-Parish levies a
1/2% parish-wide sales and use tax for sewer improvement purposes,
including the cost of operating/maintaining the system,
rehabilitation, and new construction.
The City-Parish levies a
1/2% parish-wide sales and use tax for street improvement purposes,
including street and road resurfacing and new construction.
The City of Baker School
District levies a 2% sales tax for school system general operations
(effective July 1, 2003).
The Zachary Community School
District levies a 2% sales tax for school system general operations
(effective July 1, 2003).
The City of Central levies a
2% sales tax for general municipal purposes (effective July 11,
The Central Community School
Board levies a 2.5% sales and use tax for school system general
operations (effective July 1, 2009).
You may obtain an Occupational License by completing the Business
Registration Application form located under
Tax Forms and submitting it along with a check for the
Occupational License Tax, made payable to the City and Parish
Treasurer for one of the options listed below:
- $50 for businesses that open January 1 -
- $25 for businesses that open July 1 -
Once your application is processed by
the Revenue Division Taxpayer Assistance Section, an Occupational License
Certificate will be mailed to you to be posted in your place of business.
For additional information on obtaining an Occupational License, please contact
the Revenue Division at (225) 389-3084.
When is the
Occupational License Tax Due?
For a new business, the Occupational
License Tax is due prior to the date the business opens. Renewal of an
Occupational License is due on January 1st and becomes delinquent on March 1st.
The renewal of your Occupational License is based upon your business activity
for the previous year. Please refer to the
Occupational License Tax Ordinance
for further information.
What is the
sales tax and occupational license tax penalty and interest rate?
The delinquent penalty is 5% for each
month or fraction thereof and increases by 5% on the 1st day of each
month to a maximum of 25%. The interest is 15% per annum calculated on a daily
basis until paid.
How do I request
a waiver of penalty?
A letter explaining the reasons a penalty should be
waived should be sent to the Revenue Manager at the following address: Revenue
Division, P.O. Box 2590, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
What are the
guidelines the department uses to decide whether or not to waive penalties?
The following are the primary factors
considered when acting on a request for waiver:
Level of Cooperation with
Auditors. If a taxpayer has imposed needless time delays
in providing the necessary records to conduct an audit, uses abusive
language, subjects auditors to unnecessarily uncomfortable working
conditions, or has provided incomplete records, he is less likely to
receive favorable consideration.
A taxpayer is more likely to receive a penalty waiver on an
initial audit than on subsequent audits. Additionally, if the
tax issues in question have previously been the subject of an audit
with the taxpayer requesting a waiver, the taxpayer is less likely
to receive favorable consideration.
Level of Taxpayer Effort.
If a taxpayer is attempting to collect or accrue taxes properly and
the errors made do not appear to be intentional, then the taxpayer
is more likely to receive favorable consideration.
Taxpayer Payment History.
If a taxpayer has been paying taxes timely in prior periods, his
chances of receiving favorable consideration are enhanced.
A taxpayer that has not registered for sales and use taxes with
Revenue is less likely to receive favorable consideration than one
who has been properly registered.
Taxes Collected but Not
Remitted. If a taxpayer has collected, but not remitted
taxes, he is not in a good position for obtaining favorable
Complexity of Tax Issue.
If the tax issue in question is a complex one where the
applicability of tax to the transaction is not clear, the taxpayer
is in a better position to obtain favorable consideration.
Special or Unusual
Conditions Relative to Audit Findings. If the tax in
question resulted from apparent inadvertent coding errors, the
taxpayer is in a better position for obtaining favorable
consideration than under other circumstances.
If a taxpayer pays the tax and interest in a timely manner after
being billed following their audit, he is in a better position to
obtain favorable consideration.
Willingness of a taxpayer to take corrective action to prevent a
recurrence of tax underpayment is an important consideration.
If a taxpayer is willing to change his method of accounting and
procedures in order to reduce the likelihood of the same error
occurring again, he is more likely to obtain favorable
Requests for waivers of penalties may be
granted or denied in whole or part. In all cases, the goal of the Finance
Department is to maintain a consistent and effective policy while treating all
taxpayers fairly. The factors listed above are also utilized, to the
extent applicable, in making decisions relative to penalty waivers in non-audit
How is a taxpayer
selected for audit?
The taxpayer is selected for an audit based on one or
more of the following reasons:
- Not charging tax or incorrectly charging
- Not accruing tax
- Improper use of exemption certificate
- Collecting and not remitting tax
- Industry non-compliance problem
- Volume of business in the parish
- Tips from individuals
- Not registered for sales tax and/or
occupational license tax
What is Use Tax?
Use tax applies to tangible personal
property purchased for use, consumption, distribution or storage for use in this
parish. Use tax is due only when sufficient local sales tax has not been
paid on the purchase. Additional details can be found under
Use Tax Transactions.
Sewer and Garbage
How is my Sewer User Fee calculated?
The Sewer User Fee is recalculated in July of each year and
is based on the customer’s average water consumption during the months of
October, November, and December of the prior year and February, March, and April
of the current year. Each July, residents are mailed notices explaining how the
fee is computed. Approximately 93% of our customers are billed by Baton Rouge
Water Company. For these customers, the Sewer User Fee is calculated by
computing the average water consumption in 100 cubic feet (CCF). An example of
the sewer user fee for customers billed by Baton Rouge Water Company is as
Water Consumption Billed
|Average (69/6 months)
The minimum charge for the first 400 cubic feet of average
water consumption is $20.94. Also, there is a charge of $3.79 for each
additional 100 cubic feet of average water consumption. Based on the average
consumption of 11.5 CCF, the Sewer User Fee is $49.37 (based on 2017 rates).
SEWER USER FEE $49.37 = ((11.5 CCF-4.0 CCF) x $3.79) + $20.94
For new residential customers, the Sewer User Fee is based on the average water
consumption of 11.5 CCF. Adjustments are made after three full months of
water consumption is available. A credit is issued to customers with water
consumption below the average and the monthly Sewer User Fee is adjusted.
For existing residential customers, adjustments to the
Sewer User Fee can be made if the average water consumption for the most recent
six months is lower than the consumption being billed. Customers may call the
Service Fee Business Office at 389-5378 to request a review of their account.
What is the average cost a resident
can expect to pay for their monthly sewer bill?
The average monthly sewer user fee is $49.37 based on 11.5 CCF or
Is it mandatory for
residential customers to tie-in to the sewer system?
Section 14.3 of the Unified Development Code requires that
a property owner tie-in to the sewer system if they are within 500 feet of a
sewer collection line.
My sewer bill increased. Why?
The Sewer User Fee increases by 4% each January per the
Sewer User Fee Ordinance,
Ordinance No. 12647 .
Also, in July of each year, your Sewer User Fee is recalculated based on your
average water consumption during the months of October, November, and December
of the prior year and February, March, and April of the current year. If
you feel that your bill is not correct, you may contact the Service Fee Business
Office at (225) 389-5378 to request a review of your account.
My sewer bill is higher than my water bill. Why?
This is usually true. Since 1999,
when the rates started increasing, more and more people find that the sewer
portion of their bill is higher than their water portion. This is now the
case with most customers. The sewer portion of your bill can be reduced when
your average water consumption decreases.
The amount of water which I am currently using is much less
than the amount billed for the sewer user fee. How is this possible?
The amount billed for the Sewer User
Fee is not based on the current water consumption stated on your monthly
bill. Instead, it is based on the average consumption used during the winter
months, which are the lowest water consumption months for most customers.
The Sewer User Fee is recalculated in July of each year and is based on the
customer's average water consumption during the months of October, November,
and December of the prior year and February, March, and April of the current
My water has been disconnected.
Why wasn't I notified before it was disconnected?
You were notified when you received
the final notice which stated that your bill had not been paid in 30 days.
The final notice included charges for two months and stated that services
would be disconnected if payment was not made by the due date. When no
payment was received for this second bill, your utilities were disconnected.
How do I
get my water reconnected?
The total balance due, plus the
service charge for reconnection must be paid for water service to be
restored. The total balance due includes charges for the current month
and arrears. Payments must be made in person at the following
Customers billed by
Baton Rouge Water Company:
Service Fee Business
1100 Laurel Street, Suite 234
Baton Rouge Water
8755 Goodwood Boulevard
Customers billed by
the City of Zachary:
City of Zachary
4650 Main Street
Customers billed by
the City of Baker:
City of Baker
3325 Groom Road
I paid my bill, but
my water was still disconnected. Why?
The full amount of the arrears must be
received by the due date to avoid being disconnected.
I received a
sewer user fee bill, but I own a private well. Why am I being billed?
If you are connected to the sewer system, you will
If you are not connected to the
sewer system, you should verify that the bill is for garbage and not sewer.
The monthly garbage fee is $19.00. All residents in the parish are billed
this fee except residents living in the corporate limits of Baker and
I am being
billed sewer and garbage user fees on a home that is vacant. Why?
You will be billed each month as
long as the utilities are connected. If there has been zero water
consumption during any month, credit can be given on your account for the
solid waste fee charged. Credits can also be given for the sewer fee
charged if the average consumption during the most recent three-month period
is less than the consumption billed. These adjustments are done upon
the request of the customer and will only be given every three months.
I have a swimming
pool (sprinkler system, etc.) and most of my water does not go into the
sewer system. Why do I have to pay such high sewer user fee bills?
We use only the months of October,
November, December (of preceding year) and February, March, and April (of
current year) to calculate the customer's average. Since these types of
systems are generally not utilized during winter months, the use of them
should not affect your bill.
I received a statement back-billing me for sewer and solid waste (garbage)
user fees that I was never billed for. Why do I have to pay for the
The Sewer User and Solid Waste User Fee Regulations provide that
when it is determined that a contributor has not been billed for the sewer
user fee or a resident has not been billed for the solid waste user fee
(garbage), the City-Parish shall backbill the contributor or resident for
such use. Adjustments made under this provision shall be limited to 12