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A local sales tax of 9% applies to all goods and services purchased in Orleans Parish, including food. Taxes outside Orleans Parish vary and are slightly lower. Due to a state revitalization program, art sold in designated "cultural districts" is exempt from state or local sales tax. Most businesses whose wares are tax-free have signs pointing this out, but be sure to ask if it’s unclear.

Louisiana is the only state that grants a sales-tax rebate to foreign shoppers who are in the country for no more than 90 days. Look for shops, restaurants, and hotels that display the distinctive tax-free sign, and ask for a voucher for the 9% sales tax tacked on to the price of many products and services. Present the vouchers with your plane ticket and passport at the tax rebate office at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, near the American Airlines ticket counter, and you can receive up to $500 in cash back. If the amount redeemable is more than $500, a check for the difference will be mailed to your home address. Call the airport refund office for complete information.

Contact

Airport Refund Office (504/467–0723. www.louisianataxfree.com.)