Are Louisiana Legislators Leaning Toward Raising Taxes?
I think politicians have thick skin. I think you can say just about anything about them and for the most part they won't be affected by your words. Unless you utter the words, " He raised our taxes".
That's pretty much the death knell for a political future. However, one political analyst says the state is in such dire financial shape that many state legislators are becoming less and less afraid of imposing higher taxes on the back of Louisiana's citizens.
Pearson Cross, a Political Science Professor at the University of Louisiana suggests that if taxes have to be raised, it's better to do the raising now instead of later.
It’s very unlikely that four years from now people are going to remember that they raised taxes. I don’t think they’re going to raise taxes willy nilly. I think they’re going to raise specific and targeted taxes that they think make the most sense.
Cross suggested that Governor Edwards has made many references to raising taxes in many different areas. Cross believes the Governor is simply testing the waters to see what kind of support is out there for specific tax increases.
There was a floating of a state’s sales tax increase, cigarette taxes, gasoline taxes. I think he’s going to be checking constituencies on each one of those to see where he can get those 70 votes.
In his comments to the Louisiana Radio Network Cross says if there are going to be increases in taxes now is the time to pursue them. The state's budget crisis is certainly a concern for citizens and legislators alike. However, that doesn't mean the Governor is going to get all or even any of the tax increases he is proposing.
However, when it comes to setting next year’s budget and dealing with that deficit, all bets are off and I think it’s going to be much more contentious and there is going to be much less agreement about how to go about it.