State & Local Tax partner Matt Mantle was recently quoted in the Bloomberg BNA article “Louisiana Law Requires Parishes Equal Access to Exemptions,” regarding optional local-level exemptions in Louisiana and the recent Louisiana Supreme Court decision (Arrow Aviation Co, LLC v. St. Martin Parish, La., No. 2016-CA-1132, 12/6/16) addressing the issue of whether a pointed mandatory exemption or exclusion directed to only one local taxing jurisdiction is valid under the Louisiana Constitution. The Court addressed whether the local tax uniformity clause in the Louisiana Constitution requires the Legislature to treat every local tax authority the same, or to make every local tax authority actually act the same, when the Legislature enacts a tax exemption. Mantle provided his thoughts on the decision and the potential ramifications.
The Supreme Court seemed to make it clear that this constitutional provision applies to all tax [exemptions and] exclusions, thus if you have a tax exemption on the books that is direct[ed] exclusively to one locality and not to others, there’s a potential risk that [it] is subject to constitutional challenge. … Hopefully, if taxing authorities do decide to start collecting tax, it will only be on a prospective basis.