Halstead Bead v. Lewis and NTUF's Work Simplifying Louisiana's Sales Tax System

At the end of Louisiana's 2023 legislative session, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a pair of laws that reformed the state's remote sales tax collection system. Due to NTUF's legal advocacy and policy work, Louisiana today is a much better place to do business. While more work needs to be done, NTUF has filed a motion to moot in the Halstead Bead v. Lewis case.

Read more about the policy victory achieved through NTUF's work here: Victory: NTUF Lawsuit Spurs Louisiana to Overhaul Remote Sales Tax System. 

For more resources on NTUF's work to simplify remote sales taxes in Louisiana and around the country, see below for how the Halstead Bead case evolved.


Lawsuit Filing: Halstead Bead (PDF)Video: Why Sales Tax Laws Need Reform For Small Business ProsperityRelease: NTUF Files Landmark Federal Lawsuit to End Sales Tax Nightmare for Small Businesses
NTUF's Response Briefs in Halstead BeadNTUF's 5th Circuit Appeal in Halstead Bead
Third-Party Supporters of NTUF's Halstead Bead Lawsuit
After Legislative Fix, Fifth Circuit Issues Halstead Bead Ruling

The more complex a given set of laws is, the harder it is for small businesses to keep pace with major corporations that have the resources to navigate around complex laws. That's the case with sales tax laws around the country. The way that states and localities treat online sales taxes has exploded in complexity in recent years. And that's why small businesses like Halstead Bead, Inc., are beginning to fight back.

I fear for the future of our small business and a lot of others. 
- Halstead Finance Director Brad Scott

Halstead Bead is a family-owned jewelry and crafts wholesale business started fifty years ago in Prescott, Arizona. Today run by husband-and-wife team Hilary and Brad Scott, the business sells to customers around the country. But some states have made it nearly impossible for small businesses like Halstead to operate: In Louisiana, businesses are now expected to comply with different tax laws in 64 different parishes and file up to 750 tax returns every year. For large corporations like Home Depot that have the marketing and legal departments to comply, it's easy to do so. For businesses like Halstead, it's almost impossible.

The burden that Louisiana places on small businesses like Halstead Bead is so onerous that it should be considered unconstitutional. And that's why NTUF's Taxpayer Defense Center is representing Halstead Bead in a lawsuit against the state of Louisiana - in order to ensure that the kinds of businesses that can't afford massive legal teams can still sell to Louisianans.

“What the state’s sales tax structure does is cut off Louisianans from markets that other Americans have access to, and entrenches the power of the biggest companies in the U.S.,” says Hilary Halstead Scott, plaintiff in the suit and proprietor of Halstead Bead Inc. “When people can’t buy from small, family-run businesses, they turn to large companies that have the resources to meet the onerous compliance requirements. Louisiana’s sales tax rules reduce consumer choice and grow the power of big business.”

For updates on this and our other cases, fill out the form below: