Millions in disputed Louisiana taxes now freed for spending

Courtesy: MGN Online
Courtesy: Cam427r / CC BY SA 3.0 / MGN
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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Millions in taxes paid under protest are available for state spending after Louisiana's chemical industry lost its lawsuit challenging a 2015 sales tax change.

The state treasurer's office said Wednesday that $15.9 million was transferred this week, freed from the Department of Revenue's escrow account.

Lawmakers already have earmarked the money for a list of state expenses.

Chemical plants paid $18.7 million in protest as the Louisiana Chemical Association challenged the temporary removal of a 1 percent sales tax exemption on business utilities. The organization lost the dispute, and the Louisiana Supreme Court declined to review the case on Sept. 22.

With the lawsuit ended, the revenue department began moving the money for spending. Agency spokesman Byron Henderson said the remaining $2.8 million also is expected to be transferred.

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