New Year, Same Fiscal Problems

Date: January 17, 2018

Small business owners nationwide cheered the passage of historic tax reform at the end of 2017. However, in Louisiana, it’s more of the same: higher taxes to bridge the state’s budget gap.

The Pelican State is facing a $1 billion fiscal cliff for fiscal year 2018-2019, when approximately the same amount of tax revenue will disappear with the end of the temporary 1 cent increase to the state sales tax. In December, Gov. John Bel Edwards outlined his plan to address the issue, which contained many of the ideas that have been debated in the past and were voted down or died in committee. These include:

  • Increasing the sales taxes on utilities for businesses
  • Expanding the sales tax to more services
  • Hiking the individual income tax for taxpayers who itemize deductions
  • Compressing the tax brackets for individual income tax, effectively raising rates for middle-income earners, higher-income earners, and small businesses

Dawn Starns, NFIB/LA state director, has been vocal in opposition against the proposal.


“Somebody’s going to be paying more in his version of this, and that we know will fall on the backs of small business owners,” she told KSLA News 12.


The AP also reported her statement on NFIB/LA’s opposition: “We believe Gov. Edwards could learn a lesson from small business owners and learn to live within his means. [NFIB/LA] is urging the Legislature to reject the governor’s tax plan and work with the small business community on a spending plan that’s fair and sensible.”


If any tax increase plan is going to be passed, it will require a special legislative session, but Gov. Edwards has said he won’t call one in February unless consensus was reached with Republican legislative leaders.

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Louisiana

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