Louisiana Parish May Tax Casino Hotel Rooms Offered To Players

Officials in the parish of East Baton Rouge, LA, are open to the idea of ​​taxing the additional rooms that are given to players at L’Auberge Baton Rouge as well as at the Belle of Baton Rouge. The Metro Council, along with local tax advisers Alejandro R. Perkins and Drew M. Talbot, are expected to vote on an emergency contract today.

Ministry of Finance and parish prosecutor’s office want new tax

East Baton Rouge Parish Metropolitan Council will meet with the two lawyers today to discuss the contract, which could be worth up to $ 50,000. Lawyers would be called upon to represent the city-parish whenever there is a problem with collecting tax revenues involving casinos.

Parish city revenue manager Tiffani Delapasse said this article is the product of an earlier case settled this year in which a Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans owed taxes. to the State on the equipped rooms. Harrah’s Casino parent company is Caesars Entertainment, which recently unveiled its most dynamic betting app.

Caesars would owe millions in taxes

With the ruling, Caesars owes the state $ 43 million, but showed some leniency when the legislature passed a bill that settled the case and determined payments. According to the legislature, Caesars will have to pay $ 39 million now and then make annual payments of $ 1.3 million for the next 32 years. These latest payments are part of a restructuring of the operator’s current deal that requires the company to pay state sales, use and occupancy taxes that total approximately $ 1.6 million. per year. This money is donated to two state entities, the Louisiana Stadium and Exhibition District and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

The state is apparently in the process of making a deal with Harrah’s just months after the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state. Federal documents show Harrah’s owes the state about $ 43 million in unpaid taxes when challenging the law.

Wade Duty is against taxes on Comped rooms

Delapass added that there is potential for litigation and that all of this is still highly contested. Casino Association of Louisiana executive director Wade Duty said the ruling against Harrah’s was not applicable to hotels connected to riverboats because it was only applicable to physical casinos.

According to Duty, taxing players on rooms booked because they bet at a hotel that has a casino is like taxing customers who continue to book rooms at Marriott or Hilton because they demonstrate loyalty to the brand.

He says the ruling is “a door opening into a room that has no boundaries.” According to Duty, if the parish city has the authority to levy room taxes, this could result in taxes on just about any product or service provided at a certain hotel-casino, as the services and products may be labeled as part of a client. Loyalty program.

Due to the fact that there is a huge gray area where customers can be taxed on countless things, this is an undesirable scenario.

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