Eugene Schreiber – Founder of Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program Chairman – 1988 - 2011
Eugene “Gene” Schreiber was the founding chairman of the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program (LTFS) from its inception in 1988 until his passing in 2011. In March 2012, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Tax Redemption Center was dedicated to Gene and renamed the Eugene Schreiber Louisiana Tax Refund Center. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of LTFS in 2009, Gene had this to say about the birth of the program to which he dedicated so much of his boundless time, energy and enthusiasm: “The idea for Tax Free Shopping in Louisiana arose at a meeting of the World Trade Center's International Business Committee in early 1987 as an additional way to promote both tourism and retail trade throughout the state, as was done in many countries in Europe. We felt that being the first state in the United States to offer it would create significant attention and publicity. The WTC therefore had a summer intern prepare a simple feasibility study and it indicated that such a program might work and so we took it to the Legislature to try to get it implemented into law. Then-Sen. Francis (Hank) Lauricella, Rep. Jim Donelon, and Lt. Gov. Paul Hardy provided great leadership in spearheading it through the Legislature with surprisingly little opposition and Gov. Buddy Roemer signed it into law. Rather amazingly, today's program still operates very close to the way that initial feasibility study envisioned it more than 20 years ago.” For thirty years, Mr. Schreiber was essential in the international trade as well as the tourism industry in Louisiana. He is dearly missed by the LTFS Commission and staff.