Monday, March 27, 2017

The tax plan rollout

Today was the day the Governor was supposed to detail his (somewhat) surprising proposal to replace the state tax on corporate income with a tax on gross receipts. They're pushing that back a few days now.  That's probably happening, at least in part, to get the legislators time to catch up.  You know there's a problem when even the literate ones are having trouble getting information.
Edwards' interest in gross receipts caught legislators and state budget experts off guard, particularly since it surfaced a couple of weeks ago, only a month before the legislative session is scheduled to start on April 10. By contrast, the income tax plan had been discussed in detail for about a year by the Edwards administration before it was scratched.

"I know very little about it," said Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, arguably the most influential member of the state legislature and one of the governor's strongest political allies, about gross receipts in an interview Friday afternoon.

"I haven't had a chance to review the ins and outs of it," said House Speaker Pro Tempore Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, who carried much of the governor's tax package last year in a separate interview Friday. "It seems there are a lot of questions."  

"Even the people talking about it contradict each other and don't understand it. They haven't had enough time to digest it yet," said Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, the chairman of the Senate committee that oversees tax bills. 
My thought when I first read about the gross receipts plan was that they were doing an end run around corporate tax exemptions by wiping them all out in one fell swoop. Theoretically this would give everybody a chance to spend the session doing favors to friends by writing them back in to the new code.  Hopefully the end result would also be slightly more revenue but there's no guarantee that it would be. 

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