Metro Council plans to levy taxes on casino hotel rooms | Business

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East Baton Rouge Parish officials want to see if they can collect tax on additional rooms offered to players at the Belle of Baton Rouge and L’Auberge Baton Rouge.

The Metro Council is due to vote Wednesday on an emergency contract with two local tax lawyers, Drew M. Talbot and Alejandro R. Perkins. The contract, which is not to exceed $ 50,000, would cover the costs of attorneys representing the parish city in tax revenue collection cases against casinos that end up either in the district court or before the Appeals Board. Louisiana tax.

The point was presented by the Ministry of Finance and the Parish Prosecutor’s Office.

Parish city revenue manager Tiffani Delapasse said the item came from a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that New Orleans’ Harrah’s Casino owed state taxes on the reserved rooms of his hotel. The move made Caesars Entertainment, Harrah’s parent company, pay up to $ 43 million. The legislature passed a bill to settle the case for a one-time payment of $ 39 million and annual payments of $ 1.3 million for the next 32 years.

Court issues state ruling on Harrah’s casino in tax case that could be worth $ 50 million

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“This is still highly contested and there is potential for litigation,” she said.

Wade Duty, executive director of the Casino Association of Louisiana, said the Supreme Court’s ruling against Harrah’s was only binding on the land-based casino and did not apply to hotels connected to riverboats.

He compared the payment of room taxes imposed on players as a result of their betting in a casino to hotel operators, such as Marriott and Hilton, who pay taxes on rooms assigned to guests because of their brand loyalty.

If the Parish City can collect sales taxes on free casino hotel rooms, Duty said that would mean sales taxes could be charged on any item or service offered under any loyalty program. customers, such as free meals. “It’s a door that opens into a room that has no borders,” he said.


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