President Obama has declared 20 parishes in Louisiana to be Major Disaster Areas.  The presidential declaration recognizes the obvious, grim reality of the tragedy in Louisiana, but more importantly enables flood victims in these parishes to apply for federal disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Authority.  A previous article on the Kean Miller Louisiana

By way of BeSpecific, a wonderful weblog, comes a pointer to some overdue recognition for the Louisiana State Legislature web portal.

The Center for Digital Government, which describes itself as “a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government,” ranks Louisiana’s legislature the third

On June 29, 2005, the Louisiana Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a statute, La. R.S. 33:9038.21, designed to support the construction of a privately-owned $190 million hotel, featuring more than 600 rooms, in the World Trade Center — a 33-story, city-owned building at 2 Canal Street — through the use of revenue bonds secured by a special hotel occupancy tax.

The statute created the World Trade Center Taxing District as a special taxing and tax increment financing district in Orleans Parish, designed to “provide for cooperative economic development between the City of New Orleans, the World Trade Center, the District, and WTC Development Ltd., to provide for the renovation, restoration and development of the city owned property known as the World Trade Center….” The District was empowered to issue revenue bonds to finance “any projects consistent with the purposes of the District,” and to pledge those taxes to “any financing of the WTC property in furtherance of the purposes of the district.”

The problem? The hotels in the District which would be subject to the new tax — including the new hotel itself — were already subject to two hotel occupancy taxes; one levied by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, and the other by the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority.
Continue Reading Louisiana Supreme Court Nixes World Trade Center Financing

From the uniformly excellent Harris DeVille & Associates newsletter, “HDA Issues,” comes an alert that the Louisiana legislature has leapt into action to “fix” the startling Louisiana Supreme Court decision, Willis-Knighton Medical Center v. Caddo-Shreveport Sales & Use Tax Commission, 2004-C-0473, 4/1/05). There is an earlier post on the Louisiana Law Blog discussing the decision. Essentially, the majority decided that “component parts” of an immovable – i.e., those things that become part of the immovable — are no longer gauged by “societal expectations,” but by the degree of damage caused by their removal. The Louisiana legislature is on the case.
Continue Reading A Short-Lived Judicial Precedent? Louisiana Legislature Acts to Un-do the Willis-Knighton Decision

In a remarkable decision featuring something less than seamless harmony among the justices, the Louisiana Supreme Court recently considered the meaning of “component parts” of an immovable under Louisiana Civil Code Article 466, Component Parts of Buildings or Other Constructions. The issue in the case was whether nuclear cameras at a hospital had become “immobilized,” and thus not subject to local sales and use taxes. The decision carries far-reaching implications which have already stirred the Louisiana legislature into activity to deal with the potential fall-out from the decision.
Continue Reading Louisiana Supreme Court Weighs In On “Component Parts” of an Immovable – and the Legislature Rides to the Rescue