The House passes a constitutional amendment that would lower state personal income tax rates in exchange for eliminating the ability to deduct federal income taxes.

Lafayette Representative Stuart Bishop thanked House members for passing his bill, saying Louisiana lawmakers have tried to do this for decades.

“Members, I want you to know that this is one of the first steps in true, comprehensive tax reform,” said Bishop. “I do want to thank all of you for absolutely understanding the importance of passing this.”

The amendment would lower the state personal income tax rate on your first 12,500 dollars by point .15%, .5% on the next 37,500 dollars, and 1.75% percent for income over 50,000 dollars. Proponents say the tax swap is close to revenue-neutral and if approved by voters would kick in in 2023.

The bill needed 70 votes to pass and ultimately won 98 just a day after it fell four votes shy amidst a Democratic blockade. If approved by the Senate Louisianans will have a chance to vote on it on the November 2022 ballot.

At one point the bill was at risk of sinking due to an unrelated controversy involving comments made by former Chairman of House Education Ray Garofalo. After Garofalo made a controversial comment about slavery in committee the Legislative Black Caucus threatened to withhold support for the tax reform effort unless he was removed as chairman. Garofalo is no longer chairman, but there’s disagreement as to why, and how it happened.

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