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History & Overview

The Louisiana Cultural Districts Program was created by Act 298 of the 2007 Regular Session of the legislature. The primary goal of this initiative is to spark community revitalization based on cultural activity through tax incentives, technical assistance, and resources.

The Cultural Districts Program: allows a local government to designate a Cultural District for the purpose of revitalizing a community by creating a hub of cultural activity; allows income and corporate franchise tax credits for eligible expenses for rehabilitation of owner-occupied or revenue generating historic structures in a Cultural District; provides an exemption from sales and use taxes for proceeds received from the sale of original, one-of-a-kind works of art from locations established within the Cultural District; requires local governments who designate such districts to report on impact to their community annually; and requires the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism to collate reports received and submit a single report to the legislature biannually beginning in 2011. 


September 21, 2023: The Office of the Lt. Governor and the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism are pleased to announce certification of 6 new Cultural Districts bringing the total number of Cultural Districts to 127, in 78 municipalities and 43 parishes in all corners of Louisiana, evidence of a successful initiative embraced by local governments and cultural stakeholders throughout the state.

The new 2023 districts are:

  • Downtown Sulphur Cultural District (Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish)
  • LSU Cultural District (Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish)
  • St. Martinville Cultural District (St. Martinville, St. Martin Parish)
  • Westwego Cultural District (Westwego, Jefferson Parish)

Original Art Sales Tax Exemption Changes Effective July 1, 2018: Legislative action to address the fiscal crisis eliminated the state tax exemption for original art sold in a Cultural District in 2018. The state sales tax was set at 4.45% until 2025. Art sellers must now charge the full Louisiana state sales tax, 4.45% on all works of original art. Art sellers may continue to exempt the local tax and must report exemptions to their parish sales tax office. Local sales tax exemptions along with the state historic tax credit are still important incentives that encourage creation of art, art events and rehabilitation of properties. Parish Sales Tax Report Forms are available for download through the LATA website. For more information, visit the additional drop down menu tabs for Louisiana Cultural Districts.

©2024 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism