State Sales Tax Could Be Pushed Even Higher Today
The special session of the Louisiana Legislature is set to end at 6 PM tonight. For many Louisiana citizens that end to the session can't come soon enough. It seems as if every day the legislature is in session you and I receive a gift of a higher tax on something.
Legislators have bantered back and forth about raising the state's sales tax by a penny. Both the House and the Senate have passed measures regarding that tax increase. However, the bills differ and that means a compromise must be reached before the legislation is returned to the floor of both bodies for a final vote.
In the time it has taken for the House and Senate to work out a compromise comes news of a sales tax increase of more than one cent. The thought is that the increased tax would raise an additional $100 million in revenue for the state.
Unfortunately there aren’t many options to generate revenue in a short period of time except for increasing sales tax. So, no one likes that idea, people also don’t like the idea of cuts higher ed or cuts to public private partnerships, or TOPS.
Those are the comments of Cameron Henry a Representative whose district covers much of the town of Metarie. Henry's comments reported in a story by the Louisiana Radio Network suggest that one cent won't be enough and time is running out for legislators to come up with better ideas.
As you might imagine there is significant opposition to Henry's solution. It comes in the form of comments from Ted James a Representative whose district covers part of the city of Baton Rouge. James believes the better solution is to reduce corporate tax expenditures.
It’s irresponsible for us to not own up to the mistakes that we’ve made and ask our taxpayers to pay more out of their pocket because we don’t have the courage to do the right thing.
James believes reducing inventory on corporate tax expenditures would return a significant amount of money to the state's coffers. He believes this solution is much better than placing the burden on the working men and women of our state.
The bottom line is lawmakers have just a few hours left to make their best pitch and then vote. The special session will end today at 6 PM. As of early this morning there is still no solid plan in place to cover the state's budget shortfall.