Stephen Waguespack: A plan may finally be coming together…

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Believe it or not, there is finally some good news to report on the state budget front: Governor Edwards is signaling that he plans to propose a detailed, specific plan to address the upcoming fiscal cliff. This change in approach from our elected leader is welcomed, timely and much needed.

Up until now, the people of Louisiana were receiving very different signals.

Last session, the Governor deviated from the fiscal recommendations made by the HCR11 Task Force (a group driven by members of his own team) and instead drafted and proposed a commercial activity tax (CAT) that was riddled with unintended consequences. The proposal met defeat by a wave of bipartisan opposition and the Governor spent most of the remaining days of session asking the legislature to take the lead. The House, in turn, requested spending cuts instead of new taxes, a suggestion which was not well received on the 4th floor. Session eventually ended with a balanced budget, but not much else in terms of budget or tax reform to prepare for the upcoming fiscal cliff. A special session to be called this fall or early next year, to decide what to do with the Governor’s temporary taxes, seemed all but inevitable…

 

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