Louisiana state lawmakers have started talking about doing away with the state income tax as a way to be more competitive with other states.

Thousands of residents have left the Bayou State over the past 10 years and leaders are looking for ways to stem the tide of the out migration.

State Rep Richard Nelson has asked the House Ways and Means Committee to look at ways to eliminate individuals and corporate income taxes.

Nelson says his goal is to let Louisiana compete with its close neighbors, Texas and Florida, which don’t tax income.

But you will find higher property taxes in Texas and Florida. Texas also has a 6.25% state sales tax while Florida collects a 6% state sales tax. The Louisiana state sales tax is 4.45%

Now Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is weighing in on this debate. He says it is time to take a serious look at this.

What Is Campbell's Plan for Eliminating the State Income Tax?

"Those pushing to eliminate Louisiana’s State Income Tax are onto something. Many of the nation’s fastest-growing states have no income tax, including Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Nevada."

Campbell says he tried to get this measure passed way back in the 90's, but he says the big hurdle has been how to make up the $4 billion dollars the state collects in income taxes.

In 2000, he fought hard to update how we tax oil and gas. Campbell says "the Severance Tax made sense when Huey Long was Governor in the 1920s because Louisiana was a leader in oil and gas production Today most oil and gas processed in Louisiana comes from offshore wells, other states and foreign countries. Having the Severance Tax in our State Constitution locks this obsolete tax in place."

Campbell says it is time to "replace the 12.5-percent Severance Tax with a lower Processing Tax, taking in all hydrocarbons processed in Louisiana. That would raise the revenue needed to replace the Income Tax and stimulate on-shore drilling. Everyone but the major oil companies (making record profits) would gain."

Campbell says eliminating the income tax will "take a real plan, and it takes courage, and both have been in short supply among our politicians for far too long."

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