Political Analyst Says Gov. Jindal’s Tax Swap Plan Faces “Uphill Climb”
Political analyst John Maginnis, publisher at Lapolitics.com, says La. Governor Bobby Jindal's proposal to eliminate income taxes faces an uphill battle in the La. Legislature.
In an outline given to lawmakers last Thursday, Gov. Jindal is seeking to eliminate $2.7 Billion in income taxes that will be offsetted by over $2 Billion from increased sales taxes and a broader base, including taxing a number of services that are currently not taxed. "There's a whole lot of new people now who are gonna be taxed who weren't taxed before," Maginnis says. "Everything from architects and engineers to hair stylists."
Reaction has already come in from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Democrat Rep. John Bel Edwards of Amite believes "it’s gonna hurt the middle class and I think it’s very ill-advised" while Republican State Senator Robert Adley from Bossier Parish pointed out "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" but wasn't nearly as pessimistic as Edwards. Maginnis says,
What the governor needs to do is to sell the legislators and the people on how great it's gonna be to not have an income tax and how much that's going to lead to growth. But that could be a hard sell when people look at their own situation. I think he has an uphill climb.
Maginnis also says, in addition to that, some lawmakers "believe we could tweak it (the state tax code) instead of performing this radical surgery on it...that may be the question before this thing is all said and done."
So, what if Jindal's tax swap plan doesn't pass? Maginnis says Jindal can always say he tried:
It does appeal to a Republican base, much more than it does to Democrats. And it could be something that he could tout in Presidential primaries in 2016.
More committee hearings on the topic are scheduled this week. It will take a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to raise sales taxes.