Mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish Kip Holden said this week that the tax changes going into effect today are a part of the most “dangerous” piece of legislation he’s ever seen, comparing it to the apocalypse.
On Friday (April 1), a new penny of state sales tax, approved by the Louisiana Legislature, kicked in to help close state budget shortfalls this year and next year. Another revenue raising measure, passed by the Louisiana Legislature, included removing dozens of exemptions on items that were previously sales tax exempt.
That means items like Girl Scout cookies, newspapers and breast feeding materials were tax exempt, but now will be assessed the full 5 cent sales tax for the next three months, and then 3 cents of sales tax until June 30, 2018 when the changes sunset.
Of interest to Holden, is an exemption that was removed shielding public fire departments from state sales tax on purchasing equipment. The Baton Rouge Fire Department is under his administrative budget.
“There are so many different people and so many different categories and government and private interest and families who will be affected,” Holden said. “I’m going to call this the apocalypse bill.”
Holden, a former Louisiana legislator, said earlier this week that his administration was still trying to understand the full scope of the bill. He said he’d received conflicting answers from members of legislative staff.
“This is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation I’ve seen in my lifetime and someone needs to step forward and give the citizens of Louisiana some answers because we don’t know and the staff has questions about it,” Holden said. “Someone needs to put the breaks on it and get some common sense.”