tax reform

Herding the CAT Tax

8 hours ago
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“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tax proposal in Louisiana that has drawn this much concern and criticism from a variety of different voices,” LABI's Steve Waguespack told me on Friday. And while he hasn't spoken his piece about the Corporate Activity Tax to the House Ways and Means Committee yet, more than a few lawmakers already had their fur up when Representative Sam Jones started herding the CAT tax bill through that committee on Monday.


Sue Lincoln

The second week of the session brought a kaleidoscope of activity to the Capitol, as color co-ordinated citizen activist groups and students sporting blue, yellow, red, green and/or purple  rallied on the steps and then cornered their lawmakers urging votes for equal pay, criminal justice reform, and mostly for more funding.


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As is usual early in a legislative session, it’s been an abbreviated week for lawmakers.

“Let me wish each of you a very blessed Easter,” Senate President John Alario said Wednesday morning, as the upper chamber concluded its work for the week.


Tax philosophies seem to be nearly as numerous as tax reform bills filed this session. As the House Ways and Means Committee took testimony on 20 measures dealing with corporate taxes Wednesday, those philosophies were on display.


screen capture by Sue Lincoln

Three thwacks of the gavel called the 2017 fiscal legislative session to order Monday. And as is customary, the governor addressed the House and Senate jointly. But as Governor John Bel Edwards laid out a massive agenda -- including criminal justice reform and comprehensive tax reform -- he also warned lawmakers this would not be a business-as-usual session.


Gov. John Bel Edwards
Sue Lincoln

Governor John Bel Edwards unveiled his plan for comprehensive tax reform Wednesday, and it includes cuts to income tax rates.


Sue Lincoln

The upcoming legislative session will address tax reform, so what are we – the people of Louisiana – thinking?

“Most people think they’re paying their fair share, so finding the particular tax to raise and finding who is going to pay for it – that’s much more complicated,” says Michael Henderson with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab.


Sue Lincoln

“The best thing you can do for a stable funding for government is to have a well-balanced stool.”

But when your budget – your stool -- doesn’t balance, what do you do? 


courtesy Mark Carroll

What will be the 2017 focus at Louisiana’s capitol?

“The state budget is so bad that you can’t allow yourself to be distracted by anything else,” Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs chairman J.P. Morrell says.


Sue Lincoln

“For once, it’s cool to be ‘the tax girl’. Is there anything more exciting than tax reform in the state right now?”

We could name a few other things, but Louisiana Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson, speaking to the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, gave a rather succinct overview of the tax reform proposals to be considered by the legislature this spring.


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