Friday, 26 February 2016 14:13
Louisiana budget cries, John Bel Edwards says sales tax not enough, LABI says fix government first
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lagop logo new 600 stripesSome passing thoughts as the legislature grinds through the budget crises

Fix Louisiana’s government first or tax it first?

Those are the competing cries, today.

Governor John Bel Edwards in a news conference today said the House’s approval of a one-cent tax “hasn’t come close to fixing the problem” and the 18-month expiration is unrealistic.

LABI, on the other hand, says to fix government first and refers to a page on its website to oppose these bills:

LABI encourages Louisiana businesses to communicate their opposition to the following bills as currently drafted:

The real cry, however, is, the state hasn’t even come close to focusing upon the $2 billion budget deficit expected next year.   Plus, there is a question whether the House will budge on the sunset of a year-and-a-half.

The way the Republican House leader, Lance Harris stated the position, the time limit was a critical factor in getting the sales tax increase to pass through the House.

“While we have committed to being better stewards of taxpayer dollars, our Governor and several of our members have reached the conclusion that it will be impossible to close the nearly $1 billion gap on the short timeline we are on without taking such measures as school closures and hospital closures. The penny sales tax was passed by the House with an 18­-month hard cutoff date. Governor Edwards’ original plan did not allow for an end date.

This is not the measure the House Republicans wanted to see happen; however, we are pleased that the Delegation has succeeded in getting a hard cutoff date.”

And the stakes could not be much higher.  There is the issue as to whom the public will blame for the reduction of its credit rating, as Louisiana suffered a body blow yesterday with Moody’s lowering its status.   Treasurer John Kennedy, has already thrown arrows at Edwards.

Which direction of blame probably would not surprise Bob Mann, columnist for The Times Picayune.  In an interview on Thursday, Mann said Kennedy was acting like a "demagogue" on the budget.

Last modified on Saturday, 27 February 2016 11:27
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