The Local Tax Division was created by Act 640 of 2014 to provide a forum for the uniform adjudication of Local Sales and Use Tax disputes. The law provides that one member of the Board of Tax Appeals is selected to serve as Local Tax Judge, hearing all cases in the Local Tax Division. This Local Tax Judge is selected to a six-year term from an equally balanced nominating committee, with half comprised of taxpayer and business representatives and the other half appointed by Louisiana local government officials.
All cases from all Louisiana parish collectors are heard in the Local Tax Division.
A case heard in the Local Tax Division will generally be handled in the same manner as a state case. However, the Local Tax Judge will hear and decide the case alone without the other two members of the board.
The Uniform Local Sales Tax Code governs the procedural aspects of Local Sales and Use Tax collection, even where its provisions differ from the procedures governing the Louisiana Department of Revenue and state taxes. (Relevant law is also found in Chapter 17 of Title 47 (2015).pdf)
Local Tax Division FAQs (Document Coming soon)
Cade R. Cole was initially appointed by the Governor to be a member of the Board of Tax Appeals in January 2013. He also serves as Vice-Chairman of the full Board of Tax Appeals.
Judge Cole coordinated the effort to bring historic reforms to Louisiana’s system of local tax adjudication, including the expansion of BTA jurisdiction to local sales tax cases. For the first time in Louisiana’s history, local taxpayers’ have been granted access to a pre-payment independent forum for the resolution of their tax disputes.
In June 2014, he was unanimously selected as the first Judge of the Local Tax Division by its eight member nominating committee.
Cade is Board Certified as a Specialist in Tax Law by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization, and serves as chair of the Tax Law Specialization Commission. He is the Vice Chairman of the Tax Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association. Cade is a member of the vetting committee for Louisiana's federal judicial nominations.
Judge Cole serves on the planning committee of the National Conference of State Tax Judges, and is active with the American Bar Association State and Local Tax Committee.
He also serves as a member of the House of Delegates of the the Louisiana State Bar Association, and in 2013 Judge Cole received the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association's Outstanding Service Award for work obtaining improved indigent defense funding.
Judge Cole has served as DeQuincy City Magistrate, Vinton Town Attorney, Sulphur City Attorney, Spc. Asst. District Attorney (14th JDC and 38th JDC), and Special Counsel to the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives. He is also a former member of the Louisiana Serve Commission, having been appointed by Governor Mike Foster.
He is a graduate of the Tulane School of Law, where he obtained the award for highest performance in Obligations II, Income Tax, and Public Utility and Energy Regulation.
After law school, Judge Cole served as a Law Clerk to Justice Jeannette Knoll of the Louisiana Supreme Court before entering private practice in Lake Charles. He is admitted to the bar in Louisiana and Florida, all state and federal courts in Louisiana, federal courts in Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the United States Tax Court.
He and his wife, Rebekah, have two sons and two daughters, and reside in Lake Charles. Mrs. Cole is a Chemical Engineer that is active in many community causes, and also serves as a member of the Louisiana Judicial Compensation Commission.
The Board is an independent quasi-judicial entity that comprises three attorney members who are tax law experts appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.
It is our top priority to provide taxpayers with an equitable, expeditious, and cost effective forum for the review of their appeals.
The Board hears and decides appeals concerning State and Local taxes.