Governor Jindal’s tax overhauls, presented to the legislature Thursday morning, include nixing almost 200 exemptions, and tweaking a few others – like the Motion Picture Industry Development Tax Credit.
Some members of the industry are worried the incentives will be at risk during upcoming debate in the legislature.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and other state and local officials met with Texas Brine representatives on March 13. The company responsible for a giant sinkhole in Assumption Parish is sending appraisers to some evacuated homes in Bayou Corne on Monday.
The Governor said company officials will also meet with the State Attorney General’s office on Monday. He said Texas Brine owes state and local governments 4 million dollars, combined, for costs incurred dealing with the disaster.
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.
Gov. Bobby Jindal evaded directly answering questions about whether he'll visit the site of a massive sinkhole that has swallowed nine acres of land in swampy Assumption Parish at an unrelated press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Some residents of Bayou Corne have been under a mandatory evacuation since August. They’ve publicly criticized the governor for having never traveled to see the sinkhole or speak with the families, according to the Associated Press.
Governor Jindal’s administration has agreed to finish and release its proposal to overhaul the state’s tax system by the end of next week. In a reversal of the usual power-dynamic, Jindal is now yielding to pressure from legislators.
Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, who was hand-picked by the governor sent Jindal an open letter yesterday evening pressing for the release of details of his tax overhaul. He asked that the plan be released to legislators by March 15 so that committees could properly debate it before session starts.
Representative Kevin Pearson, chairman of the House Retirement Committee, has prepared a bill that he hopes will improve the cash balance plan – despite that the plan is the subject of ongoing litigation. The plan was overturned in court because it didn’t get a two-thirds vote in the legislature.
If the State Supreme Court does uphold the decision, the bill could be used as a safety-net, and the cash balance plan could be brought before the legislature a second time.
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.
The group of legislators that routinely opposes Governor Bobby Jindal's use of one-time money in his proposed budgets met over the weekend, and may soon have an alternate way to fund some of higher education's budget.
Last year, the fiscal hawks proposed over $160 million of cuts to lower priority areas of the budget. Representative Kirk Talbot, a leader of the group, says those weren’t considered until the mid-year shortfall. They’ll try again this year.