oyster shell recycling tax credit
Act 404: A TAX CREDIT FOR RESTAURANTS RECYCLING OYSTER SHELLS FOR BENEFICIAL USE IN LOUISIANA
On July 11, 2023, Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards signed HB255 into law. The state is working quickly to establish guidelines as to how restaurants can receive this credit, to be finalized by January 1, 2024. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for our Act 404 email list to receive early updates on the credit!
What does it do?
HB255 created Act 404, establishing a tax credit for Louisiana restaurants that recycle their shell for beneficial uses. The credit will allow a reduction in the restaurant’s state tax liability of $1 per 50 pounds of shell recycled, not to exceed $2,000 annually.
The purpose of the bill is to offset part or all of the cost associated with restaurants returning their discarded shell to the water, rather than throwing it in the trash and ultimately in a landfill. This is a simple, cost-effective, sustainable approach to coastal restoration. The program is capped at $100,000 annually and sunsets after five years.
Why do we need it?
An open resource loop exists in the oyster/restaurant supply chain. Unlike oyster farmers, dealers and processors who have systems in place to return their discarded shell to the water, most restaurants discard their shell in the trash. By recycling shell, we close that loop and return this valuable natural resource to the water, where it has tremendous environmental and ecological benefits.
What are the benefits of recycling oyster shells?
Just like birds need trees to nest in, oysters need reef habitat to grow. Living oysters and oyster reefs improve water quality, provide fishing habitat, support the local economy and help protect shoreline by breaking waves. Louisiana produces approximately one-third of the nation’s oysters, but we are experiencing a shell deficit – most shell removed from the coast is not returned.
In addition to protecting the coast and receiving a tax credit for doing so, restaurants who participate in recycling are celebrated for their sustainable practices. People support restaurants that are making a positive impact. The more oyster shells you recycle, the more oysters we can grow to protect our coast. It’s a win-win!
How does it work once implemented?
The tax credit will take effect in the 2024 tax year, which starts on Jan. 1. Restaurants statewide will have the ability to recycle their shell in several different ways, to be determined by the state Department of Revenue in conjunction with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Restaurants will not need to work through CRCL to receive the credit. We envision local municipalities, ports, conservation groups and even the state using this resource to benefit coastal Louisiana. CRCL will share information about implementation of the credit as it becomes available.
Restaurants in the greater New Orleans area are eligible to sign up for CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program. To sign up for our service, fill out this form. For restaurants outside of the service area, CRCL invites you to contact us at email@example.com to discuss your options. Stay tuned – we are busy planning expansion to other cities across Louisiana!
How will the credit interface with CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program?
All restaurants participating in CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program will be eligible to apply for the tax credit!
How will the restaurants calculate the return?
For restaurants participating in CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program, CRCL will provide an annual report documenting the amount recycled by each restaurant. From the report, your restaurant will be able to apply for the appropriate return.
For restaurants that don’t partner with CRCL but wish to apply for the credit, CRCL would recommend they report their pounds of shell recycled based on the total annual oyster purchase orders. The Department of Revenue and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will work together to establish rules and regulations for restaurants not participating in CRCL’s OSRP. CRCL.org will post the most up-to-date information as the rules and regulations are established.
CRCL PROVIDES A PICK-UP SERVICE FOR RESTAURANTS IN THE NEW ORLEANS AREA. RESTAURANTS THAT WISH TO JOIN THE PROGRAM CAN VISIT THIS PAGE TO LEARN MORE!