Special Session Update

June 22, 2018


The latest special session wrap-up is more of the same. The Advocate explains that yesterday was full of behind-the-scenes negotiations, speculation over a possible surprise influx of money and loudly voiced frustrations from both sides of the aisle, the House voted 60-40 to reject the first tax measure that has made it to the floor. House Bill 10, which was amended before the vote, would have extended half of a 1 percent sales tax set to expire June 30th.

Instead, the House members left late in the evening, in what House Speaker Taylor Barras described as "extreme deadlock" over whether to renew half or two-fifths of the expiring sales tax.

Under one scenario, the state sales tax rate would go from 5 percent to 4.5 percent on July 1; under the other, the tax rate would go from 5 percent to 4.3 percent. "What we need is movement from the two corners," said Barras, R-New Iberia. "No one has budged in the past three days."

The speculation was fueled by yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing state and the local governments to collect sales tax where the consumer made a purchase from a remote dealer. Louisiana is one of the states that can begin collecting taxes on retail sales over the internet. The ruling means that consumers who have bought tax-free items online will, once fully implemented, pay sales taxes on those purchases.

But it won’t happen until the fall, at least, Louisiana Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson told The Advocate in an interview Thursday. She also said she’s worried about the possibility of a legal challenge once the state starts enforcing collections because Louisiana’s sales tax setup doesn’t meet all the criteria specifically listed on the last page of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion.

In other news, few foreign policy watchers were surprised when the United States announced its withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This body has distorted its mission of protecting human rights around the globe through its consistent hostility to Israel. With serious human rights crises gripping the Middle East and beyond, the UNHRC has instead dedicated an inordinate amount of time to criticizing the Middle East’s sole democracy. By withdrawing from the UNHRC, the United States has sent a strong message that it will no longer lend its credibility to this flawed institution that has failed in its mission.

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In His Service,

Gene Mills
Louisiana Family Forum

P.S. –  Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 27, 2018, from 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm. You don’t want to miss this special night at the Healing Place Arena in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!

Info and RSVP opportunities coming soon!
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