A team of economists that has been studying the state’s taxing structure said Tuesday Louisiana legislators could raise $800 million immediately by raising the tax on cigarettes, partially rolling back inventory taxes, and stopping the practice of allowing taxpayers to write off their federal deductions on state returns.
Tax credits, exemptions and other breaks for business have mushroomed over the past decade. A handful of the giveaway programs examined by The Advocate in a recent series found that their cost had shot up from just over $200 million to $1.1 billion during the past decade.
In their analysis, the Louisiana Tax Study economists said their final report would recommend more than a couple dozen changes to make the state’s tax base broader, its rates lower and its burden more fair, while providing money enough for state government to pay for services. LSU economist Jim Richardson said how the system is ultimately structured is up to lawmakers, but depending on the choices made, up to 90 percent of Louisiana’s taxpayers eventually could see a modest decrease.
Deadhead Lobby Demands MORE From Tax Slaves