The House Ways and Means Committee meets today to discuss revenue bills that would raise revenue to prevent or soften proposed cuts to state services. New Iberia Rep. Terry Landry has authored the legislation Governor Edwards supports. Landry’s measure would renew a half-cent of an expiring one-cent sales tax and the Democrat says there’s public support behind his legislation.
"Most people say we are already spending a penny, why don't you keep the whole penny and solve the problem that's the majority of the emails and phone calls I've got," said Landry.
Landry says renewing a half-penny of an expiring one-cent sales tax would generate 500-million dollars and that would be enough to fully fund TOPS, higher education, the department of corrections and the food stamp program.
But a group of House Republicans are a firm “No” on legislation that would place our sales tax rate above four-percent. Erath Representative Blake Miguez says the legislature can do a better job prioritizing the 29-billion dollar plus budget approved in the last special session.
"In the current budget, there's 31-million dollars of state employee pay raises funded, I don't think that will sell well with our constituents," said Miguez. "The department of health is also receiving 67-million dollars more than last year."
Miguez says he’s heard from residents in his district and they want lower taxes and less government spending.