Thursday, June 21, 2018

They might get the 4.5

Signs they might be ready to put this year's fight to bed.
House Republican leaders are pushing the 4.4 percent sales tax rate in House Bill 10 by Rep. Paula Davis, R-Baton Rouge. House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, is a co-authoring this legislation.

Davis did promise Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee that if her bill came back changed -- or with a higher tax rate -- that she would allow it to come up for a vote. That means if Edwards and the Democrats can get the support for a 4.5 percent sales tax, Davis might not stop her bill from being changed.

House Democrats, particularly the Black Caucus, have said they aren't willing to vote for less than 4.5 percent or cut some government services.
Maybe they still won't find the votes for it. But there's an argument to be made that Republicans have thrown enough fits this year to score all the political points they need to go into next year's elections.  They've also managed to stave off more meaningful and lasting reforms. They've managed to protect the bulk of the corporate privileges bleeding the rest of us dry.

Also of note, Cameron Henry has attached his proposed budget re-vamp to the Davis bill.
It’s co-authored by Speaker Taylor Barras, and the amount of revenue it generates served as Appropriations chairman Cameron Henry’s number for the amounts he plugged into his supplemental spending bill, HB 1, on Wednesday evening.

“This removes the priority list in the original budget bill, and appropriates the money from the Davis bill,” Henry told his committee. “I picked the Davis bill, because we needed something to get the conversation going, We need to move along and get something over to the Senate.”
Even if the Senate revises it to a 4.5% sales tax that barely funds state government as it is. It also preserves what most Democrats consider an intolerable burden on the poor and it effectively "denies the Governor a win" by ensuring a continuance of the argument we've been having for the past few years.  It might be time for Republicans to declare the mission accomplished and allow this thing to end. They've done enough damage.

Update:  Wait a minute. Somebody might have found them some free money
WASHINGTON (AP) — States will be able to force shoppers to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big win for states.

More than 40 states had asked the high court to overrule two, decades-old Supreme Court decisions that they said cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. The decisions made it more difficult for states to collect sales tax on certain online purchases.
This just happened so I'm not sure how much revenue this produces. A law passed earlier in the year provides for Louisiana to take advantage of the ruling immediately. Although how immediately is also in question.

Upperdate: Here is a full clarification as to what today's SCOTUS ruling means for Louisiana's fiscal crisis. In short, not much. 
The Supreme Court ruling doesn't actually allow any state to start collecting more internet sales taxes. The court has decided to send the case, which involves a South Dakota sales tax law, back to a lower court for another trial. It could be years before the ruling has any effect on state revenue.

"It's not going to result in immediate income to the state," said Rep. Jay Morris, R-West Monroe.

Even if the Supreme Court ruling could take effect immediately, Louisiana isn't ready for it. States that want to collect more internet sales taxes must have a streamlined system and central collection point, according to the ruling.

Louisiana has none of these things.

"Louisiana is probably the farthest from being in compliance," Drenkard said in an interview. 
So much for that, then.  Of course, Cameron Henry's Facebook page hasn't weighed in from alternate reality yet, so we'll see. 

Meanwhile, the House rejected Davis's bill at 4.5% this evening so, so much for that as well.  They still haven't moved any revenue bills.

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