How Much To Raise Taxes? Legislators Debate The Idea
After this special session of the Louisiana Legislature is done you can bet you will be paying more for a lot of things. The State of Louisiana is in financial crisis and we the people are the bank, Just how much of your money will become our money is the current quandary the hired hands in Baton Rouge are trying to decide.
Governor Edwards is asking the legislature to increase state revenue, raise taxes, to the tune of $600 million. So far legislators in the House of Representatives have acquiesced and found $220 million. The Governor says without the $600 million things like TOPS, healthcare, education will suffer the consequences.
Perhaps the bigger concern is the fact that the Senate isn't or doesn't appear to be willing to move on any of these increases. Unless certain unintended consequences of the first special session are undone.Among those unintended consequences are issues like a tax on Girl Scout Cookies and school lunch programs. Representative Karen Peterson told the Louisiana Radio Network,
If we’re not able to fund higher education institutions, our veteran’s services, and everything else that’s underfunded, there is no circumstance where I am interested in passing any one of these exemptions.
Some Senators are not in favor of adding new taxes at all. Senator Ryan Gatti who represents Bossier City and the surrounding area is suggesting legislators look at wasteful spending first.
I haven’t decided to support any of them, I’d rather look at the cuts. Now, if we have some revenue generators that don’t effect the middle class, I think that’s what everybody is moving towards.
Many political observers are suggesting that there is an inordinate amount of distrust between the House and Senate. Regardless the two bodies of the legislative branch will have to come together or the state might fall apart. The special session must come to an end June 23rd.