Cost of building materials continue to fluctuate, sales tax remains high

Published: Mar. 5, 2023 at 2:48 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - If you’re in the market for any building projects, you have probably been keeping an eye on how much your project is going to cost.

With the pandemic and hurricanes came supply shortages and price hikes. Then came a wave of inflation. Plus, the state’s high sales tax.

Whether you’re working to rebuild, remodel or build new, the cost of materials has been inconsistent in recent years.

“Building materials have definitely fluctuated high and low,” Brent Vest with VT Contracting said. “There were times after the hurricane and the shut down for COVID where we saw huge spikes that we’ve never seen before.”

Some prices are now decreasing.

“God news is the lumber building material prices are steadily decreasing from a record high,” Sen. Jeremy Stine said.

While the base cost of materials may change, sales tax remains high. Stine said sales tax reduction will be a topic during the upcoming legislative session.

Louisiana has one of the highest sales taxes in the country. According to data collected by Sales Tax Handbook, the combined sales tax in the State of Louisiana is just under 10 percent, at 9.547 percent. In Calcasieu parish that number is even higher at 12.2 percent.

“Obviously we’d love to see any reduction in taxes, but the biggest most insidious tax is inflation,” Stine said.

Though it may be intimidating to jump into a building project with inconsistent pricing, Ryan Terrell with VT Contracting said having a plan is the best thing you can do.

“If you don’t jump in the game, you’ll always kind of be on the sidelines,” Terrell said.

Terrell said to consider the long-term benefits. He said think of any work you do as an investment that can pay out through increased home equity down the line.

“You know put it in your daily budget and see if it works,” Terrell said. “If it works, it works. and you know you can take all the negative stuff that is built around it, inflation and everything like that and rule it out because it work in your case.”

If you are looking for a little break from sales tax, Stine Home & Yard is having a tax-free weekend on March 4 and 5.