St. Landry Parish sales tax collections increase
Last year included COVID-19 shutdowns and back-to-back hurricanes that might been expected to drive down sales tax collections.
But sales tax collections in St. Landry Parish ended at historical levels.
Total collections in St. Landry Parish at the end of 2020 reached $77,708,999, up $7,796,696 or 11.2% over the previous year, according to the December sales tax report from the St. Landry Parish School Board tax division.
The comparison of December to November collections indicates the sales tax growth may be slowing. The December sales tax figures primarily reflect sales in November.
Another indicator is the November unemployment rate in St. Landry Parish was 8.8%, up from 6.5% a year ago.
The parish sales and use tax total includes collections for the parish government, School Board, solid waste, law enforcement, special tax districts and municipalities.
The totals do not include state sales taxes. The sales tax numbers are gross collections.
Tressa Miller, finance director for the St. Landry Parish School Board, said grocery sales helped fuel the year’s sales tax growth along with stimulus money intended to soften the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
Eunice sales tax collections totaled $6,809,730, up $1,374,365 or 25.3% over the 2019 total. The December total of $547,180 was up 27.3% over the December 2019 total, but down $52,018 or 8.7% from November’s total.
Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot has indicated people tended to shop locally during the pandemic. Eunice ended up being the one of the first places to shop east of the area damaged by Hurricane Laura.
In Opelousas, the 2020 total $10,542,421, up $695,278 or 7.1% over the 2019 total. The December total of $847,038 was up $136,475 or 19.2% over the December 2019 total. The December total was down $83,851 or 9% from November.
In Road District 1, the 2020 total was $7,776,758, up $1,405,550 or 22.1% over the 2019 total. The December total of $577,215 was up $126,424 or 28% compared to December 2019. The December total was down $108,482 or 15.8% from November.
In the parish total, the December collections were $6,109,745, up $446,923 or 7.9% above December 2019. The December total was down $711,845 or 10.4% from November.
Local sales tax rates in unincorporated St. Landry Parish are 5.55% parish tax rates that includes the 2% Smooth Ride Home Program tax.
The local sales tax rates in Eunice are 2.45% city and 3.55% parish.
The sales tax numbers include a use tax, which is paid on items used, stored or consumed. The sales tax is collected on a transaction.