Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:10 am
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.
Conservative House lawmakers who have been at odds with Gov. Bobby Jindal over budgeting tactics are proposing to rewrite the laws governing state spending.
The bills were unveiled Tuesday by the Budget Reform Coalition, a mainly Republican group.
The measures would limit what dollars lawmakers and the governor could use to pay for ongoing programs, barring patchwork financing uncertain to appear year after year. They also would set up a timeline for handling the budget so lawmakers couldn't pull it together in the final hours of a legislative session.
Two Jefferson Parish lawmakers have lodged a legal challenge against the state's budget, asking a judge to declare its financing a violation of Louisiana's Constitution.
Reps. Kirk Talbot and Cameron Henry, both Republicans, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in state district court in Baton Rouge.
The lawsuit is part of continuing criticism from conservative House Republicans about GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics, specifically his use of one-time, patchwork funding to pay for ongoing programs and services.
The leader on Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposed tax code rewrite, Tim Barfield, says the administration wants to keep most of the state's economic development incentive programs as part of the revamp.
Many of the programs give credits or exemptions to income taxes.
Though Jindal is proposing to eliminate state income taxes in exchange for higher sales taxes, Barfield says the governor's proposal will keep modified versions of most of the incentive programs overseen by the Department of Economic Development.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has recruited his latest press secretary from Wisconsin.
Jindal announced Friday that he's hired Sean Lansing for the $65,000-a-year position. The move comes as the Republican governor has started unveiling proposals to rewrite Louisiana's tax code and ramping up efforts to sell the ideas to lawmakers and the public.
Lansing most recently worked as communications director for Wisconsin's John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, a right-leaning think tank.
Lawmakers are responding with caution to Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to eliminate Louisiana's income tax in exchange for higher sales taxes and other tax code changes.
Among specific concerns raised Friday by legislators who will decide the fate of the plan are how it will impact low- to middle-income families, how it will affect local sales tax collections and whether sales taxes are too unstable a revenue source on which to base a budget.
Jindal is floating the idea of a tax swap in advance of the legislative session that begins in April.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is proposing to eliminate Louisiana's personal and business income taxes, in exchange for higher state sales taxes and the removal of some tax breaks.
Jindal's shopping the idea to lawmakers, who will consider it in the regular session that begins in April. In a statement Thursday, the Republican governor said eliminating income taxes will "put more money back into the pockets of Louisiana families" and make the state more attractive to companies.
It was the first peak at proposals Jindal will offer as part of his tax code rewrite.