Business groups are dismayed by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposals to help solve the state’s fiscal crisis, which includes a $750 million revenue shortfall for the current fiscal year and an estimated $1.9 billion shortfall for FY 2017.
Late Tuesday, the Edwards administration released a list of potential tax increases that could be used to solve the current year’s shortfall and the longer term problem. Among the most troublesome suggestions on the table from the perspective of the business community: a one-cent sales tax increase, a telecommunications tax increase, a repeal of the utilities sales tax exemption, suspending the inventory tax credit this year and capping it at a lower rate beginning next year, and suspending the deduction companies can take on their corporate income tax when they have a net operating loss.
“I was very disappointed and surprised to see the entire menu of options included revenue raising measures,” says Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack. “This is not a menu. It is one main dish and it’s all taxes.”
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