FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Baton Rouge, LA (May 30, 2018) – The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) issued the following response to the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee's decision to target Louisiana businesses with hundreds of millions in additional taxes:
“A clear and unfortunate signal has been sent to workers across Louisiana,” said LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack. “While GDP is shrinking and personal income is dropping, the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee proposed an unprecedented level of taxes, specifically targeted at those employers who make up the backbone of our fragile economy and provide opportunities for thousands of Louisianans."
Waguespack added: "We are especially concerned with the crushing blow this proposal could have on manufacturing - an industry that employs more than 137,000 Louisiana workers with an average wage of more than $85,000 annually."
"Employers and workers have always been more than willing to do their part to support statewide priorities like TOPS and hospitals, but they also need a partner in the Capitol to recognize their contributions to our economy and way of life," said Waguespack. "We desperately urge the Capitol to focus more on good policy, substance and civility in these last few days of session and less on blame-game politics."
HB 27 by Rep. Lance Harris (R-Alexandria), which seeks to extend .33% of the state sales tax, was amended tonight to impose a 4.3% sales tax on business utilities, manufacturing machinery and equipment, and installation of industrial equipment, among other business activities.
On May 22nd, LABI released an updated policy memo that clearly shows the state’s businesses are paying their “fair share” of taxes. LABI outlines all of the taxes that business is already paying in Louisiana, which is a larger share of taxes than the national average. CLICK HERE to learn more.
As the economy struggles to rebound from the oil and gas recession, where Louisiana's GDP actually declined last year, the Legislature and the administration should focus on improving the business tax climate through tax reform, not simply raising revenue.