Dig Baton Rouge

The tax man cometh

Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a call for a 25 day special session of the Louisiana Legislature to address the largest budget shortfall in Louisiana’s history. Scheduled to last from Feb. 14, 2016 through no later than Mar. 9, 2016, the effort will include a smorgasbord of tax increases.

“This is a season of hard choices for Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “We have lived through seven years of mid-year deficits and budget cuts across state government. Now, we have three and a half weeks to decide how to fix a $750 million budget shortfall with effectively only three months in which to make cuts to critical state services and collect more revenue for the state. This is not the plan I want to submit to the legislature, but unfortunately, these are the options we have to choose from in the short-term.”

Some of the tax items on the menu include:

  • Additional 1 cent to the state’s 4 cent sales tax
  • Renew taxes on landline and cell phone bills
  • Raise tobacco tax by 25%
  • Require internet sales tax collection by retailers
  • Raise state personal income tax
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