NFIB State Director Dawn Starns McVea said small business owners are urging lawmakers to vote yes on centralizing sales tax collections and phasing out Louisiana’s antiquated inventory tax.
She said owners also are calling on local legislators to oppose new employer mandates that would drive up the cost of doing business in the state.
“This is a critical time for small businesses,” McVea said. “2020 was an incredibly difficult year for local shops and restaurants because of the pandemic. We can’t afford higher taxes and additional mandates that would make it even harder for small businesses to recover and put people back to work.”
NFIB’s top priorities in this year’s legislation session include:
- Centralized sales tax collection: “Our members tell us HB 199 by Speaker Schexnayder would have a huge impact on their ability to be competitive,” McVea said. “Sales tax remittance in Louisiana is burdensome and time-consuming. It’s time to bring Louisiana’s tax system into the 21st century.”
- Reducing the individual income tax rate: “Louisiana small business owners file as pass-through entities about 90% of the time so the individual rate is important to the health of small businesses,” McVea said. “While our members support a reduction in the rate, it must be meaningful especially if coupled with the elimination of the federal income tax deduction. Our members strongly oppose the removal of this deduction in the absence of significant rate reduction since Louisiana has the highest rate among its neighboring states.
- Repealing the inventory tax: “Our members support the phase-out of the inventory tax in Louisiana,” McVea said. “We know that taxing business owners on their inventory before they have a chance to sell it is bad tax policy. Now is the right time for Louisiana to lead and make our state competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining business.
- Gasoline and motor fuel tax: “We want to see meaningful tax reform before legislators even consider raising the gas tax,” McVea said. “Our members know that increased fuel taxes disproportionately affect small businesses especially those with fleets.”
- Shoring up the unemployment trust fund: “Our members are fighting to stay open and have had to endure a years’ worth of government forced shutdown, they simply cannot afford another tax hike,” McVea said. “We urge the legislature to make the trust fund whole with ARPA funds. Louisiana had one of the healthiest trust fund balances at about $900 million pre-covid. The best way to spend recovery dollars is to protect small business owners during this uncertain time.”
- Employer mandates: “Legislation already has been filed that would more than double the state minimum to $15 an hour and open the door to suing employers over what they ask job candidates. These type of anti-business policies will only further burden those already struggling to find workers and keep their doors open.”