The Latest on the special legislative session on taxes:
The House tax committee narrowly agreed to advance a bill to temporarily shrink a tax break for those who itemize on their tax returns, to raise more than $100 million for next year’s budget.
To get the bill out of the Ways and Means Committee, lawmakers agreed to make the tax break reduction a short-term loan to the state. Louisiana would be on the hook for paying back as much as $257 million to taxpayers in two years.
The committee voted 10-9 Wednesday for the proposal, sending it to the full House for debate.
The two-year decrease to the tax break wouldn’t happen if other tax bills bring in more money than expected.
Getting the bill out of committee was a victory for Gov. John Bel Edwards. A prior version without the repayment provision stalled by one vote.
Senators are advancing a bill that would force large manufacturing facilities to choose between two property tax breaks they enjoy, to boost revenue for the state’s budget.
The bill by Republican Sen. Rick Ward, of Port Allen, would prohibit businesses from receiving both an exemption from paying local property taxes for their facility and from paying property taxes charged on inventory.
Ward said the measure would “level the playing field” for small businesses that don’t receive the general property tax exemption for their facilities.
Groups representing large manufacturing facilities opposed the bill, saying it would discourage development.
The proposal would save the state treasury $146 million in tax break spending annually.
The Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs voted 7-4 Wednesday to send the bill to the full Senate for debate.
Pressure is being put on members of the House tax committee, who are deciding whether to scale back a tax deduction for upper-income earners.
The Ways and Means Committee meets Wednesday afternoon to consider the legislation by Bogalusa Rep. Malinda White, to raise more than $100 million for next year’s budget.
Groups for and against the tax measure are flooding social media websites and email with calls for people to bombard committee members ahead of the vote.
The Republican Party of Louisiana put out a “call to action,” saying party members should call their lawmakers and fight the bill. Gov. John Bel Edwards sent an email to supporters, urging them to contact members favoring the bill.
Lawmakers are in a special session aimed at raising taxes to balance the budget.