LFA News and Publications


Governor seeks alternative to his proposed gross receipts tax plan

posted on
Governor seeks alternative to his proposed gross receipts tax plan

Governor seeks alternative to his proposed gross receipts tax plan

By William Taylor Potter / Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards had a message for Republicans opposing his plans for tax reform: Chart a new path.

The call to action came during his State of the State address – the second of Edwards’ tenure – that opened the 60-day Louisiana State Legislature’s 2017 regular session. Much of the speech centered on the governor’s proposals for tax reform, which includes eliminating one penny of the five-penny sales tax and implementing a commercial activity tax (CAT) for businesses.

A tax on commercial activity would measure gross receipts at various levels, with smaller businesses getting hit significantly less. A gas station with $500,000 in taxable gross receipts would pay $250, noted the governor by way of example, while a doctor’s office with $2.5 million in fees would be taxed $1,500.

Edwards addressed Republicans and their steady opposition to his efforts, saying he was open to compromise but added he had seen “very little constructive input and no constructive action.”

“We cannot continue down the path we are currently on,” Edwards warned the senators and representatives sitting in a joint session. “It’s unsustainable for our state. And we can’t keep moving the goal post because it’s politically advantageous.”

The governor said he could respect those who disagreed with his proposals so long as they offered legitimate counter proposals. He said he could not respect those who “[vote] ‘no’ on everything without offering their own proposal.”

Edwards also hawked to the Republican dominated body several non-fiscal proposals, including equal pay legislation for females and criminal justice reform. He said his initiatives for the criminal justice system, which include “cleaning up” the criminal code and broadening probation eligibility, would reduce the state’s prison population by 13 percent and save $300 million over 10 years.

On equal pay, Edwards said the state should be “offended” by its wage gap, noting that Louisiana has the highest in the nation with a woman making 66 cents for every $1 a man makes. He also called for an $8.50 minimum wage floor over the next two years.

Rep. Robert Shadoin, R-Ruston, said he does not see the “political will” in the House to affect fiscal reform this session.

“I have not picked up the sense that we will do any meaningful budgetary or financial reform during a fiscal session when that should be our focus,” Shadoin said after the governor’s speech. “We got 60 days to try to focus on the way we do our budget from the bottom up because obviously the way we’ve been doing it doesn’t work.”

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | View Count: (260) | Return
News Categories
  • June 2017 LFA Newsletter
    Book your room now for the 70th annual meeting!
  • LLC Chapter 4 meeting canceled
    The Louisiana Loggers Council Chapter 4 meeting that was scheduled for today has been canceled due to the bad weather anticipated from Tropical Storm Cindy. LLC will post on this website and share th...
  • House sergeant at arms on job more than three decades
    BATON ROUGE — Not much about the Louisiana Legislature has changed since House Sergeant of Arms Clarence “Smoke” Russ began working at the Capitol in 1982, but the end of the last regular session w...
  • The State of Louisiana’s Forests

    As we celebrate Arbor Day in Louisiana, we think it’s a good time to catch up on the “State of the Forest.” Trees cover half of our state and forests are the single greatest land use in Louisiana. ...
  • Reward offered to nab perpetrator who destroyed woods equipment in LaSalle Parish

    A reward of up to $7,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people who vandalized and destroyed a LaSalle Parish logger's equipment, according to th...
  • 2014 LFA Annual Report

    President Dave Cupp's message, comparative budgets, 2015 LFA Board list, highlights from 2014, news including emerald ash borer, billboards, Kisatchie quarter and Martco's planned OSB mill.