Stelly Plan

Sue Lincoln

Just 15 days remain until Gov. John Bel Edwards’ self-imposed deadline for legislative leaders to agree on a fix for the fiscal cliff.

 

“Jan. 19 — the day we present our executive budget proposal," he says is the last day for an agreement, in order to call a special session prior to the March 12 start of the regular legislative session.

courtesy: Universal Pictures, imdb.com

As the past two years with six legislative sessions have shown, fixing the fiscal cliff is not easy.

“The citizens of this state do not want to raise their taxes,” insist lawmakers.  In fact, the chairman of the House tax-writing committee states, “I can assure you, nobody wants to raise taxes.”

Nobody really wants to extend the fifth penny of sales tax, either.

Feeding the Tax Base

Jan 10, 2017

When the Sales Tax Streamlining Commission met Monday, they considered doing away with the state sales tax exemption on food purchased for home consumption.

“This would be a revenue neutral thing,” commission chair Julie Stokes told the group. “Food would be fully taxed, and the rate on everything would be able to come down a half of a penny.”

Stelly's Shadow

Feb 18, 2016
S. Lincoln

As lawmakers discuss how to fix the state budget shortfall and change the tax structure to prevent recurrence, “Stelly” keeps coming up.

“Once we gave up both sides of the Stelly equation, we’ve been in a jam for 7 years,” observed House Ways and Means vice-chair Julie Stokes.

But who or what is Stelly?

Vic Stelly was a Lake Charles Representative, who authored a tax restructuring plan the voters approved in 2002. It was designed to prevent the budget problems Louisiana currently faces.

Finding the way down off the fiscal cliff could be as simple as turning around, and looking back at the path that brought us here.

“The root of our current budget problems goes back to the decision in 2008, under Gov. Jindal, to repeal the Stelly tax changes that voters passed in 2002,” says Louisiana Budget Project director Jan Moller. “That has taken about six to seven hundred million dollars our of our tax base every year.”

Jim talks with former state lawmaker Vic Stelly, architect of the Stelly Tax Swap Plan which was enacted and repealed within a decade.

Conservative columnist and commentator Quin Hilyer on the trials of the Obama White House