Three sales tax bills that raise revenue to different amounts are heading to the House floor for debate Thursday after they received approval by the House Ways and Means. Baton Rouge Representative Paula Davis received the most support as it renews an expiring one-cent penny by four-tenths of a cent. She calls it a great compromise.

“We did not pass Representative Harris’ bill at .3, we failed to pass Representative Leger’s bill at .5. Compromise is all about meeting in the middle so I thought 'great, let’s try this out.'”

Davis’ bill passed on a 12-5 vote. Members of the Legislative Black Caucus didn’t vote for it because they want a sales tax bill that renews half of the expiring one-cent sales tax. Davis is optimistic her legislation has the 70 votes to get approval by the full House.

“I have Republican colleagues who are not happy with this bill. I know that there are Democrats who are not happy with this bill, so maybe this is the right bill.”

The other sales tax proposals to pass would renew .33 of the expiring one-cent sales tax. Another measure renews half of the tax, but scale it down over time. Chairman Neil Abramson of New Orleans is optimistic the House can get behind one of the bills.

“I am open-minded, other people have ideas. I want to work with you and I want to try and figure something out that gets us out of our current situation.”

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