Monday, 18 June 2018 18:06

Americans for Prosperity's John Kay: 3rd Louisiana legislature fiscal session no charm

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3 charm 5

With the Louisiana legislature revving up to start later this afternoon for its 3rd special session to deal with next year's budget which starts July 1 this year, here's the big question--will three be the charm?  Actually, if you want to get technical, you can add the regular session to the mix, which would make four. However, that regular session prohibited raising any revenues since it was not a fiscal session, so, we won't count it to the tally.

According to the Louisiana Director for the Americans for Prosperity organization, funded by the Koch Brothers, the answer, reluctantly appears to be yes, but hope not.

John Kay, the Louisiana Director simply does not want to raise any taxes to help finance the budget. He spoke adamantly against raising the sales tax which is the only vehicle in Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards's legislative call designed to raise enough money to pay for what Edwards believes are necessary governmental services.

Below is part one of the interview with Mr. Kay which took place this morning via Facebook/Twitter and Youtube Live. This segment ends at the 5 minute, 56 mark on the video.

Part 2, tomorrow

SABLUDOWSKY: Is the third time a charm?

KAY: I don't think so. I think that maybe maybe it's a third time is a charm for passing a tax--but the third time's not a charm for the taxpayer. The question I asked in my radio this morning on WBRP that's the same that I'll rhetorically ask here--once this tax is raised, what does the taxpayer have to be excited about?  Our economy is shrinking, folks are moving out of the state, our taxes--our temporary taxes are being extended for not getting tax reform and the governor's vetoing bills that would have allowed us to see more of how our money's being spent-- but yet they want more money.  What do we have to be excited about as taxpayers?

I guess the the most exciting thing is--maybe we don't have to get there any more special sessions this year? That seems like the the one thing that maybe taxpayers have to look forward to

SABLUDOWSKY: Okay so you seem a little bit uncertain to - a little bit pessimistic--does that mean does that mean that you think that maybe they will come up with a resolution?  

KAY: I think that they've been they've been close to passing a tax before. We're gonna continue to work to do our best to make sure that nothing gets past, but I think that they're probably pretty close to a deal, from what I can tell.  But I think that, I think that it's important to note that whether there's a deal that is hatched or not, that this deal represents a broken promise to taxpayers--and I think that's the one thing that's getting lost in the messaging from all sides. 

There's a lot of talk about whether or not this is a tax cut, there's a lot of talk about funding the government, but there's decreasing amounts of talk about the fact that this tax was never supposed to be extended.  Although I can't say I didn't see it coming, I saw, I said back in 2016 that I don't believe there's any such thing as a temporary tax.  The legislators are proving me out on that at least to some degree, so I think at the end of the day, the tax payer has to wonder what is the future of Louisiana look like? 

Does the future of Louisiana look like more temporary taxes, it looks like holes that have to be patched every few years or will we get to the point where we have structural tax reform, structural budget reform where we don't have to go through this any more.  This won't solve that.  This may solve this year's budget hole but this won't solve the problems that Louisiana faces in the future and I don't want people to get confused and believe that it will. 

This is gonna temporarily, if it's passed, it will temporarily patch a hole, but we still have the problems that have plagued us for years past and we've had a temporary patch on this for a couple of years and we're still seeing negative GDP growth.

This won't fix that. I think this will this will make that problem worse than it was before. We're not going to fix the fact that we have to essentially bribe business to come into Louisiana and open their doors. We're not going to fix any of those problems, we're simply going to fix a broken revenue stream for the state government while tax payers are left on the hook for that.

SABLUDOWSKY: Okay, so, right right now if you had a crystal ball and we're just talking about sales tax so where do you think the resolution may lie?

KAY: Are you asking how I would fix it? Are you asking?

SABLUDOWSKY: No no I'm asking for you to go into the crystal ball right now tell us--it will be a third of the penny, will it be half penny, forty, four-tenths or what?

KAY: I'm guessing it's four tenths.  If I had to if I had to guess at the end of this legislative session if something gets passed I think it's four tenths of a penny and the question is gonna be more or less around what parts of the pennies to clean--pennies to clean, I think that's probably what's most likely to happen. I don't think that, I don't think that takes a whole lot of insight into the process to determine it's really the only thing that's being talked about at the legislature it's the only thing that's really being talked about among people at the Capitol I think that assuming something gets done this session, I believe that it'll be probably four tenths of a penny


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