A Baton Rouge Representative is proposing a change to the Industrial Tax Exemption Program. The Republican lawmaker wants the Parish President, Sheriff, and School Board President to be the review board for ITEP requests.

Rick Edmonds says at the moment, requesting an ITEP means working with a number of local boards.

“It’s going to bring some predictability to every parish, so that businesses don’t feel like they are dealing with a different set of circumstances every time they walk into a different parish.”

The new ITEP policy grabbed headlines after a community group pushed the Baton Rouge School Board to deny Exxon an ITEP tax break. Edmonds says he hopes the streamlining will appease both local stakeholders and business investors.

“These are locals that will still make the decision. It’s just consistent that the same locals in every area make the decision and then businesses are not wondering how many boards am i dealing with, how many different people do i need to get approval from.”

The changes comes a year after an executive order eliminated a state review board and gave local authorities the final say on the tax exemption.

Edmonds says the Governor assured businesses that the change would not create problems, but…

“What we now know is that that is not working with a lot of our folks who are leaving Louisiana, or decided because of this to relocate, particularly to Texas.”

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