Part of John Bel Edwards' budget proposal would give Louisiana the highest combined state and average local sales tax rate in America, if the newly inaugurated Governor's changes make it through the state Senate next month.

On the website nola.com, Julia O'Donoghue writes :

"At 9.1 percent, Louisiana currently has the third highest sales tax rate, when the state and local sales tax levies are taken into account,  And Edwards has proposed adding another penny to the sales tax starting April 1, meaning the combined local and state sales tax would jump to an average of 10.1 percent."

No other state has a combined rate in excess of 10%. Tennessee is currently the highest at 9.46%.

O'Donoghue continues:

"Louisiana needs an additional $700 million to $750 million by June 30 to keep hospitals, colleges and universities solvent, Edwards said earlier this week. The sales tax increase is expected to bring in $216 million over three months to help plug this hole. 

Officials all agree that the $700-million-plus hole couldn't be closed by cuts alone. New revenue will be needed, and there aren't many places to turn with only a few months left to raise the money."

The big question is, can Governor Edwards get his revenue raising ideas through a Republican dominated legislature, or would his fellow Dems be willing to back a proposal that increases taxes on the middle class and poor, their cornerstone constituency.

To read all of Julia O'Donoghue's article on Governor Edwards' tax increase ideas, JUST CLICK HERE!