In 2016, facing over a billion dollars in a budget shortfall, the legislature approved a one penny sales tax that is set to expire mid-year 2018. The one thing we know about Louisiana voters, poll after poll, time after time, Louisiana hates raising taxes.
But how will the state fill the mega-shortfall of roughly 800 to one-billion-dollars when the tax sunset rises on the horizons next summer? Will the Louisiana voters allow the legislature to extend the penny sales tax, say, for another year or two? Perhaps.
Then, there are the prospects that the state might not need the money if the oil production and the price per barrel should pick up. Wishful thinking?
Pollster Bernie Pinsonat, President of Southern Media and Opinion Research discussed these prospects and the possible future of the penny tax during an interview early this week with Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of Bayoubuzz. His response might surprise many of you.
In addition to the sales tax issue, Pinsonat talked about the relationship between Democrat Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and the Republican Party of Louisiana. Edwards is the only statewide elected official in Louisiana and in much of the South, representing the Democratic Party. Republicans control the legislature. Edwards feels that Jindal left the state is an abominable mess and that it needs more revenues to provide basic services. The LaGOP and the Republican legislators believe otherwise. Last week, the party declared a victory in stopping a tax increase pushed by Edwards.
What’s going on? Various Republican leaders eye the governor’s office and are leading the assault upon Edwards. Obviously, the party also wants to adhere to its core principals of cutting budgets and not raising taxes. Yet, is the party playing fair? What is its game plan in denouncing Edwards and his tax policies?
Watch the video as Pinsonat discusses both the penny sales tax and the Republican-Edwards relationship, the strategies, and the possible outcomes.