Tax bill advances — Family tax policy threatened.
The Louisiana Legislature entered Week-2 of the Special Session. The Regular Session concluded early to begin deliberations on the state budget and revenue-raising measures. This session must end on June 4th.
Governor Edwards vetoed the state budget bill that passed during the Regular Session. Attempts to override that veto have been unsuccessful. The House Ways and Means Committee will begin discussion of a new budget bill Wednesday morning. Legislators are still debating how to address differences in projected revenue and proposed expenses. The 1-cent “temporary” sales tax which passed in 2016 expires this year. On Friday of last week, the House voted down a new 1/3 cent sales tax (HB27) however, on Monday of this week, the House came back and approved this new sales tax (see how they voted) and sent it to the Senate. Keep in mind, taxes may increase in Senate committee.
Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) is watching several key issues. SB11 by Sen. J.P. Morrell (D-New Orleans) caps and sunsets a package of tax rebates and credits. Included in this package are Student Tuition Organizations rebates and credits. SB11 sunsets this popular program which grants state income tax credit for donations made to non-profit Student Tuition organizations like Arete Scholars Fund - which scholarships low-income students seeking to escape poorly performing public schools. Amendments proposed in the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee may remove the cap on these tax credits but still sunset (end) this program in 2025. Any suggestion that this tax saving (potential life saving) program might come to an end would have a deleterious effect on fundraising efforts for this non-profit program.
Stay informed my friend – very bad stuff can sneak out at any time. Team LFF will keep you informed, relevant, and speaking directly to the decision maker.