What Happened to the Occupancy Tax?

The DeSoto Parish Police Jury has charged the Parish Administrator with looking into the Occupancy Tax the state allows them to levy on motels, hotels, RV parks, camps and other accommodations.  Administrator Michael Norton told the DeSoto Chamber Board meeting this week that there are still some collections being made despite the tax being repealed a couple of decades ago.

Norton gave the history of the occupancy tax in the parish going back to 1975 when the state authorized it.  Norton said, “The Police Jury enacted the tax in the late 1970s, then repealed it in September 1995.  There are still some businesses that collect it but are not supposed to be.”

The city of Mansfield collects a 2% occupancy tax on lodging businesses within the city limits.  Norton explained that he is dealing with the rest of the parish.

Norton said he was working to get an exact picture of which businesses might still be collecting the tax almost 25 years after it was repealed.  What happens to the money collected, Norton said it is still being turned in to the tax commission.

Last year the Police Jury deferred on reinstating the occupancy tax.  They asked Norton to look into the situation.  Norton said, “I fully intend to notify those taxpayers who are collecting the tax that is unauthorized.  I will notify them by letter.  I anticipate that there will be requests for refunds.”