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Legislators Disagree About Tax Increase Proposals

Louisiana-State-Capitol-Photo-by-Chris-GraythenGetty-Images-280x300111Lawmakers are at odds about how to solve the budget crisis.

After this special session of the Louisiana Legislature is a wrap, you will probably be paying more for lots of things. Lawmakers are considering tax increases that would raise 600 million dollars in revenue, which is what the governor wants. The Edwards Administration says without that money there will be cuts to healthcare, education and the TOPS program. So far the House has approved 220 million dollars in tax increases but New Orleans Sen. Karen Peterson says that’s not enough.

“The House should hopefully, if they don’t like some of the things that the governor is proposing, they’ve got time to file bills and come up with alternative strategies to meet the needs of the people of this state.”

Peterson says the Senate will not advance legislation that will correct some of the unintended consequences of the first special session, like taxing Girl Scout cookies and school lunch programs, until the House approves more revenue raising measures.

“If we’re not able to fund higher education institutions, our veteran’s services, and everything else that’s underfunded, there is no circumstance where I am interested in passing any one of these exemptions.”

Governor Edwards is asking the legislature to increase state revenue, raise taxes, to the tune of $600 million. So far legislators in the House of Representatives have acquiesced and found $220 million. The Governor says without the $600 million things like TOPS, healthcare, education will suffer the consequences.

But Bossier City Sen. Ryan Gatti says he’s not in favor of anymore taxes and would rather go into the budget and cut wasteful spending.

“I haven’t decided to support any of them, I’d rather look at the cuts. Now, if we have some revenue generators that don’t effect the middle class, I think that’s what everybody is moving towards.”

State Representative Alan Seabaugh tells KEEL News he is not in favor of raising any more taxes and he says many more lawmakers feel the same way.


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