Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The problem

The legislature is back in session. You may already be aware of this having felt the customary disturbance in the force. This is going to be a fun one. The governor is trying to raise the minimum wage, guarantee equal pay for women, reduce the prison population and reform our backwards and broken tax system. Meanwhile, the Republicans who run the House zoo are going to fling poo at him. We'll see how much of that sticks.

Much more on all of this later.. and probably on the fake radio show if we get one in this week. But for now I'd like to at least highlight this Louisiana Budget Project study of the overall effect of the governor's plan. The headline grabbing aspect, we suppose, is this since the Advocate leads with it.
A tax package proposed by Gov. John Bel Edwards would raise taxes on the wealthy while giving 95 percent of Louisiana families a tax cut, according to a study released Wednesday.

The largest effective tax cut under the governor’s plan would go to the middle 20 percent of taxpayers – households that earn between $36,000 and $56,000 per year – while only families earning at least $203,000 per year would pay more, according to the Louisiana Budget Project, a left-of-center, Baton Rouge-based nonprofit.
We're a long way from seeing any of this put into action, of course. Ways and Means only just started furrowing brows at things. God speed to them, though. As Tyler Bridges notes in his article, they do have quite a problem to deal with.
Louisiana’s tax system currently is regressive, meaning that the poor pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the wealthy, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based group that works with the Louisiana Budget Project. Families that earned $17,000 or less in 2015 paid 10 percent of their income, the group found, while families that earned at least $470,000 paid only 4.2 percent.

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