$1 billion budget gap topic of John Bel Edwards meeting with Louisiana business leaders

Gov. John Bel Edwards met behind closed doors with 21 Louisiana business leaders at the Capitol on Tuesday (Aug. 8) to discuss the state government’s looming $1 billion-plus budget gap. The governor is expected to hold several more meetings with business interests and legislators over the next few months to figure out how to will handle such a shortfall without closing public hospitals and colleges.

“Their input is critically important as these business leaders are on the front lines creating jobs and working to build a strong economy. It’s their ideas, combined with the input from legislators and other community leaders, that will, hopefully, guide us as we look for consensus to avoid the fiscal cliff,” Edwards said.

Business activists have complained that constant changes to Louisiana’s taxes and tax breaks over the past two years have created problems for them. It’s been hard to predict businesses tax liabilities since 2015, when the Democratic governor’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, and legislators started making adjustments to the tax code to balance the state budget. The tax changes became more extreme in 2016, when Edwards and the Legislature were facing a previous $1 billion dollar budget gap…


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