COVID, hurricanes complicate ITEP compliance


A “handful” of industrial owners that utilize Louisiana’s Industrial Property Tax Exemption Program won’t hit their estimated employment and payroll targets due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent storms, says Louisiana Economic Development Undersecretary Anne Villa.

At its regularly scheduled meetings beginning this month, the state Board of Commerce & Industry will be presented with ITEP contracts that are not in compliance due to their failure to maintain or create required jobs, failure to maintain or create required payroll or failure to properly report on required jobs or payroll.

Just how many companies could be impacted is unclear. Villa has told the board to expect several non-compliant companies to be on its Oct. 27 agenda.

A company that is not in compliance faces the following process:

  • LED notifies the company and the relevant local governmental entities of a company’s noncompliance
  • LED gives the local entitites an opportunity to make a recommendation to the board whether and to what extent a company should be penalized
  • LED presents to the board those ITEP contracts that are out of compliance and the locals entities’ recommended penalty

However, the local entities and company might forgo this process should they reach an agreement and the company pays a default payment, in which case the company is deemed to be back in compliance.

Companies will have the opportunity to appear before the Board of Commerce and Industry to explain their circumstances.