The powerful lobbying group, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, says the third special session must end with a solution that solves the state’s budget problems. LABI President Stephen Waguespack says it seems lawmakers are close to finalizing at least a portion of the one-cent sales tax that expires June 30th.
"Whether it’s 0.3 or 0.5, or anywhere in between, we know that businesses will pay 48% of that according to the national averages. We are ready to do our part. It is time for them to get into a room, find that compromise and then let’s move on.”
Waguespack says LABI supports a partial renewal of the expiring one-cent sales tax, even though they know businesses will pay 48-percent of what could be a $400 to a $500-million tax increase.
“We have told them all, look, get into a room, get off twitter, and stop all of the name callings and finger pointing, get into a room and get through it and find the compromise there.”
Waguespack wishes lawmakers had the opportunity to use this third special session to address Medicaid and pension reform or statutory dedications which limits what legislators can do during tough budget times. He says instead the call issued by the governor only gives the legislature two options.
“That will see the raise some portion of the fifth penny or walk away with a budget that doesn’t fund community colleges, or TOPS, or some of the other priorities.”