§305.20. Exclusions and exemptions; Louisiana commercial fishermen
A. A Louisiana resident, domiciled in Louisiana, who possesses such valid Louisiana commercial fishing license(s) as may be necessary for commercial fishing ventures, including but not limited to a vessel license issued pursuant to R.S. 56:304, and who is an owner of a vessel operated primarily for the conduct of commercial fishing as a trade or business and which the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries determines will be predominantly and principally used for commercial fishing ventures and whose catch is for human consumption shall be exempt from state sales, use, lease, and services taxes as set forth in Subsection C of this Section. Possession of a commercial fishing license issued by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shall not be used as the sole determination that a vessel will be used predominantly and principally for commercial fishing ventures. This exemption shall also apply to facilities which process the catch from owners of commercial fishing vessels for which this exemption is granted when such vessels are owned by, or leased or contracted exclusively to, the seafood processing facility.
B.(1) The Department of Revenue, after consulting with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, shall immediately issue rules and regulations for the enforcement of these provisions. Through its agents, it shall issue a certificate of exemption to those who have demonstrated their qualification under the provisions of this Section. Except as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, no such certificate shall be issued to any person who does not present to the department a notarized statement that he derives or intends to derive his primary source of income, which means not less than fifty percent, from commercial fishing.
(2) In lieu of a notarized statement, a person acting on his own behalf, with sufficient personal identification and documentation, may execute a signed statement before an authorized employee of the Department of Revenue.
(3) A separate certificate of exemption shall be issued for each vessel which the applicant has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the department, will be used principally and predominantly for commercial fishing ventures. The certificate shall identify the vessel to which the exemption shall be applicable. This certificate shall be made available without charge to qualified applicants. Such certificates are not transferable and shall be presented in order to obtain the exemption.
C. An owner who has obtained a certificate of exemption shall, with respect to the vessel identified in the certificate for the harvesting or production of fish and other aquatic life, including shrimp, oysters, and clams, and certain seafood processing facilities described in Subsection A, be exempt from the taxes described in Subsection A, as follows:
(1) Taxes applied to the materials and supplies necessary for repairs to the vessel or facility if they are purchased by the owner and later become a component part of the vessel or facility.
(2) Taxes applied to materials and supplies purchased by the owner of the vessel or facility where such materials and supplies are loaded upon the vessel or delivered to the facility for use or consumption in the maintenance and operation thereof for commercial fishing and processing ventures. For purposes of this Paragraph, it shall make no difference whether the vessel is engaged in interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce.
(3) Taxes applied to repair services performed upon the vessel or facility. For the purposes of this Paragraph, it shall make no difference whether the vessel is engaged in intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce.
(4) Taxes applied to the purchase of gasoline, diesel fuel, and lubricants for the vessel and to sources of energy and fuels for the facility.
D. Any person who would otherwise be entitled to a certificate of exemption, shall be exempt from all taxes applied to the purchase of any vessel which the Department of Revenue determines, under its rules and regulations, will be used principally and predominantly for commercial fishing ventures. This determination may be made prior to the sale by the department at which time it shall issue to the applicant a certificate of exemption. Where application is made prior to the purchase, the burden shall be on the applicant to demonstrate that the vessel will be used principally and predominantly for commercial fishing ventures. If application for a certificate of exemption is made after purchase, a certificate of exemption shall issue and the Department of Revenue shall give a rebate, out of funds made available therefor, for all taxes paid; but this shall take place only where the applicant has demonstrated his and the vessel's qualifications under this Section. This Subsection shall be made applicable only to purchases made subsequent to September 12, 1975.
E. When a commercial fisherman objects to a refusal of the Department of Revenue to issue a certificate under this Section, he may appeal such ruling to the Board of Tax Appeals, which may overrule the secretary and grant tax exempt status if there is a determination that the denial was arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable.
F. Any person who knowingly uses his certificate for a purpose other than that authorized in this Section, and any person who knowingly participates in the obtaining of or the misusing of the certificate, whether present or absent and whether they directly commit the act constituting this offense, aid and abet in its commission, or directly or indirectly counsel or procure another to commit the crime, shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars per offense nor more than one thousand dollars per offense, and imprisonment without hard labor for not less than one day nor more than three months.
G.(1) Except as provided for in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, this exemption applies only to sales and use tax imposed by the state of Louisiana and does not apply to such taxes authorized and levied by any school board, municipality, or other local taxing authority notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, specifically but not exclusively R.S. 47:337.8(B).
(2) However, the governing authority of any parish, school board, municipality, or other local taxing authority may by ordinance or resolution grant the exemption provided for in this Section. In addition, such taxing authority may authorize refunds of any tax paid prior to the effective date of such ordinance or resolution on transactions exempted by this Section.
Acts 1975, No. 811, §1; Acts 1982, No. 820, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1983; Acts 1982, No. 873, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1983; Acts 1984, No. 866, §1; Acts 1984, No. 687, §1; H.C.R. 55, 1986 R.S.; Acts 1988, No. 239, §2; Acts 1990, No. 162, §1; Acts 1991, No. 896, §1; Acts 1996, No. 24, §1, eff. June 27, 1996; Acts 1997, No. 658, §2; Acts 2009, No. 446, §1, eff. July 1, 2009; Acts 2010, No. 1003, §1, eff. July 8, 2010.