Gov. Bobby Jindal went before the legislature Thursday to unveil his tax proposal. He wants to eliminate the income tax and says the state can make up the gap with a higher and more expansive sales tax.
The proposal would make Louisiana the state with the highest sales tax in the nation. Combined with local sales taxes, Louisianians would pay an average of 10.75 percent in sales tax. And the state would start taxing things that haven’t been taxed before – like landscaping, haircuts, and cable and Internet services.
Do you pay your neighbor's son to mow your lawn? Under Gov. Jindal's tax plan, he may legally have to add a sales tax to his total. -But that's only if that service is approved to be taxed by the parish you live in, according to the state constitution.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are voicing their skepticism of Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax overhauls. The forum this morning: an annual pre-session briefing hosted by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
Jim Patterson of LABI kicked off the presentation with what he’s heard from legislators about their private talks with Governor regarding his still unreleased tax overhauls. "[Gov. Jindal] does want to conform the local sales tax base to the state tax base," Patterson said. "This will help local governments to absorb what are going to be some relegation of services by the state to them.
Gov. Bobby Jindal invited the press to the Governor's Mansion for a brief preview of his budget, which will be unveiled in full Friday morning before the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.
The budget totals $24.7 billion. The governor says that's a billion dollar decrease from last year.
The Dept. of Health and Hospitals will see a cut of about $50 million because of a drop in federal funds. Jindal says the budget for higher education will see reductions because of the privatization of some of LSU’s hospitals, but not in other areas.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's tax reform proposals may include raising the tobacco excise tax. Health officials have suggested raising the tax by a dollar per pack. A study shows raising the tax by that much would raise $223 million a year – that’s almost enough to have closed this year’s $240 million budget gap.
Jindal has said his tax reforms would be revenue neutral, replacing the income tax with higher sales tax.