Lawmakers From Both Sides Of The Aisle React To Gov. Jindal’s Tax Reform Plan
Now that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has presented his tax reform plan to state lawmakers, what is their take on his proposals?
Democrat Rep. John Bel Edwards of Amite says it's "a plan that left more questions than answers." Edwards says, based on what he heard on Thursday, he can't support Jindal's plan:
I am fervently opposed to the plan...People the middle on down are going to end up footing this bill. There's no doubt about that.
The plan calls for ending personal and corporate income taxes, while raising state sales tax to 5.88% on most purchases, up from 4%. Jindal's proposal is supposed to be revenue neutral, but Republican State Senator Robert Adley from Bossier Parish says that's easier said than done:
Until it actually gets into play and into position you don't know how it actually turns out. You can take all of the numbers you have but it never comes out to the penny in reality to what you had.
Rep. Edwards, head of the La. House Democratic Caucus, feels the Jindal Tax Swap would be a disaster for consumers and merchants alike, while cutting big business a huge break by ending their income and franchise taxes:
We would have the highest sales tax in the nation and the most regressive tax structure in the nation. We would put Louisiana retailers at a tremendous competitive disadvantage not only to the Internet sellers, but also to out-of-state brick and mortar retailers.
That's in contrast to what Sean Lansing with Gov. Jindal's Office says would happen, that the state sales tax rate would be the 24th lowest in the nation.
Rep. Adley says the Governor's plan should produce more in-migration and promote more new business and job - if it works. He also points out the Governor's plan shifts almost $3 Billion in revenue onto the state's consumers:
So where you've been giving tax breaks or credits or exemptions in the past you have to go to them to get to $3 Billion. It then gets down to who's ox gets gored as to whether it's doable.
Rep. Edwards, who has announced he will run for governor in 2015, is convinced Gov. Jindal's plan will be bad for the state of Louisiana and its people:
I think it's bad for Louisiana. It will hurt tourism and those businesses that rely upon tourism. It's gonna hurt the middle class and I think it's very ill-advised.