State Rep. Tanner Magee, R-Houma, has filed a bill for April’s legislative session that seeks to lower the state sales tax.
In a news release, Magee said his bill will work to lower Louisiana’s sales tax from 5 percent to 3 percent. Magee points to a study by tax policy think tank The Tax Foundation, which listed Louisiana as having the highest sales tax rate in the country.
Magee said he believes the high tax rate is because of the multiple sales tax exclusions for businesses making large purchases, which can’t be used by the average resident.
“The exemptions have gotten out of control,” Magee said. “I am not saying all these exemptions need to be eliminated; some actually may be warranted. We must start with a clean slate and evaluate each of these on a case-by-case basis.”
Magee said he believes that once the state eliminates the unnecessary exemptions, the state could reduce the sales tax without decreasing revenues by “broadening the base and lowering the rates.” He also said he wants to work with businesses and his colleagues to make sure these reforms are implemented and work properly.
Local business leaders have not had a chance to look at the bill to evaluate its impacts.
Suzanne Carlos, director of the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce, said her organization will be looking into the bill with all the others that are being proposed for the legislative session that begins April 10.
A representative for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry said that group is also looking into the bill.