State of Louisiana Archives: on Tax Reform


John Bel Edwards: We can make tax reforms but they must be revenue neutral

Since 2016, we have made great strides in stabilizing Louisiana's budget, and our efforts are paying off. But remember, in four years--two more fiscal sessions from now--the .45 percent of sales tax rolls off. We already have one of the lowest combined tax burdens in the country. So while we can and should make reforms, they must be revenue neutral. No one wants to go back to the fiscal mess that I inherited. And I won't let that happen.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to Louisiana legislature Apr 12, 2021

Antoine Pierce: Tax cuts for poor & middle class

Source: 2020 Louisiana Senate campaign website AntoinePierce.com Feb 4, 2020

Ralph Abraham: Taxes kill jobs and sales tax killed Louisiana's economy

Q: Over the last four years, the state has gone from a multi billion dollar budget deficit to a multi million dollar surplus. Part of the reason was an increase in sales tax. Is it time to cut the burden on Louisiana taxpayers?

Rep. ABRAHAM: This governor helped create the deficit. He voted for the majority of Governor Jindal's budgets. And we have the highest sales tax in the nation. We have lost jobs more than any other state in the nation. And it's due to taxes, taxes, taxes. I happen to have an op ed in my pocket. That was written by Gov. Edwards. And Governor, you said that raising the sales tax will kill the Louisiana economy. Congratulations, Governor, you killed it. It is because our taxes are too high.

Gov. EDWARDS: That's an absurd statement. The economy is the biggest it's ever been in our state. Personal income is the highest it's ever been. And unemployment is the lowest in 11 years. That's why we're running a surplus, because the economy is performing better.

Source: Bayou Buzz Transcript of 2019 Louisiana Gubernatorial debate Sep 23, 2019

Bill Cassidy: Co-sponsored tax simplification for Gold Star families

Simplification of a special tax intended to stop wealthy parents from sheltering income by shifting it to their children inadvertently caused higher taxes on military survivor benefits. This removes the unintended tax treatment of survivor benefits. "This bipartisan legislation helps those who lost a husband or wife, a father or mother, serving in the military to protect us. This legislation fixes an unintended problem and lessens the taxes of the surviving spouse," said Dr. Cassidy.
Source: 2020 Louisiana Senate campaign website cassidy.senate.gov May 8, 2019

Eddie Rispone: Yes on historic federal tax cuts; no on raising state taxes

Taxes: Support President Trump's tax cuts?

Abraham: Yes. Voted for Trump tax cuts. "Will lead to a more prosperous America for all."

Bel Edwards: Mixed. Supports Opportunity Zones Program. Amend penalties on privately held agriculture companies and taxes on families of fallen U.S. service members.

Eddie Rispone: Yes. "In 2017, Donald J. Trump implemented historic tax cuts that produced real results for the people of Louisiana."

Taxes: Support increased/decreased taxes on specific constituencies, like on the wealthy?

Abraham: No to "raising any taxes." Eliminate federal estate tax. Across-the-board state corporate tax decrease.

Bel Edwards: Unclear. Negotiated with legislature for sales tax increase to address state deficits. Limits on Louisiana's industrial tax break program.

Rispone: No on increasing. "We're not going to raise taxes." Change state constitution so tax hikes are voted on by the general public.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Guide to 2019 Louisiana Governor race Nov 1, 2018

John Bel Edwards: Reform tax structure or face $1.3B fiscal cliff in 2018

Louisiana faces a more than $1.3 billion fiscal cliff on July 1, 2018--a point when a significant amount of revenue disappears and expensive credits and rebates return to their full amounts. This is the big moment. The structural deficits have gone on for far too long. The resistance to doing what is right and necessary to fix this problem once and for all is no longer acceptable.

Last year, you created a task force that spent months studying the most responsible way to reform our tax and budget structure. What we found from this review is that the options are no easier, or even substantially different, than the ones we have considered in the past. I fully support the task force's recommendations for structural tax reform. Many of the recommendations of the task force were the very same solutions I proposed last year. So now we have a choice. We can simply go down the same road we have travelled time and again--hoping for different results. Or we can chart a new path.

Source: 2017 Louisiana State of the State address Apr 10, 2017

John Bel Edwards: Reduce sales tax; eliminate federal income tax deductibility

As a guiding principle, I have proposed that we move forward with the elimination of the fifth penny of sales tax as scheduled July 1, 2018, clean the remaining pennies, and model our sales tax structure utilizing best practices from other states. In addition, I am asking you all to give 90 percent of the citizens of Louisiana an income tax cut, and simplify the corporate tax structure by reducing the current five corporate income tax rates to three lower rates. Both of these shifts would be in exchange for eliminating the deductibility of federal income taxes--a practice that is only used in three other states, and is most beneficial to higher income earners. And for C corps, those businesses that are taxed at the entity level, 80,000 out of 101,000 did not pay any income taxes. My proposal will ensure that those 80,000 C corps that pay no income taxes do their part
Source: 2017 Louisiana State of the State address Apr 10, 2017

Clay Higgins: Eliminate the IRS; introduce 15% federal sales tax

I support the elimination of the IRS completely and the introduction of a 15% federal sales tax. Each individual state is perfectly capable of collecting and forwarding collected federal sales tax revenue quite efficiently. A federal sales tax (AKA the "FairTax") would immediately give every single person in America "skin in the game". Everyone would be invested in America. Everyone would participate in the funding of our Federal government. Every citizen would find themselves controlling their own money and taking advantage of market competition to shop wisely with more money in their pockets to spend.

What about exemptions? Yes, I would support exempting food and medicine from federal sales taxation. I would also support exempting a citizen who has been honorably discharged from the military [after 6 or more] years. I would also support an exemption for ALL of our once revered elderly. At some point in life --maybe 67 or 68--the nation could say "enjoy your golden years tax free."

Source: 2016 Louisiana House campaign website CaptainHiggins.com Dec 10, 2016

Mike Johnson: Simpler, flatter and fairer tax code will spark new growth

Fight Tax Increases and Champion Tax Reform. Our country desperately needs real, substantive reform to our tax code to make it simpler, flatter and fairer for everyone. The best way to spark new growth in our economy is to reduce taxes and the oppression of our existing marginal tax rates. Higher taxes place a growing burden on families, small businesses, job creators and investors, which weakens the economy by discouraging entrepreneurial risk, new ventures, savings and investment. For the free market to flourish again, government needs to reduce its interference and enhance the incentives that encourage growth.
Source: 2016 House campaign website MikeJohnsonForLouisiana.com Dec 10, 2016

Foster Campbell: Make sure the super-rich pay their fair share

Q: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?

A: No

Q: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?

A: No. I want a balanced plan that makes sure the super-rich pay their fair share, and that means we have to examine waste and fraud in both corporate give-aways and all spending programs.

Q: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?

A: Yes

Q: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?

A: Yes

Q: Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?

A: Yes. But these need more accountability and adequate oversight.

Source: VoteSmart 2016 Louisiana Senate Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2016

Thomas Clements: Flat rate tax with across-the-board reduction

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement, "Higher taxes on the wealthy"?

A: Suggest a flat rate tax reduction across the board for individuals and businesses. Reduce regulations.

Source: Email interview on 2016 Louisiana Senate race by OnTheIssues Jul 31, 2016

Bobby Jindal: Approved educational tax credit to offset tax increases

SB93: Prohibits the $25 credit for educational expenses for each child attending nonpublic elementary and secondary school if the tax deduction for payment of tuition is taken and establishes the Student Assessment for a Valuable Education (SAVE) Credit Program.

Analysis by The Baton Rouge Advocate: Passage of the SAVE fund was crucial because Jindal was virtually certain to veto the budget if the Legislature hadn't approved the measure. The SAVE plan will impose a fee of almost $1,600 per student that the students won't actually pay because the plan will create tax credits--phantom tax credits in the eyes of critics--that offset the fee. The tax credits allow Jindal to offset all of the tax measures approved by legislators.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 59-44-2, Vote #1102 on Jun/11/15; Passed Senate 30-9-0, Vote #1107 on Jun/11/15; Signed by Governor Bobby Jindal on Jun/19/15

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate on Louisiana voting records SB93 Jun 19, 2015

John Bel Edwards: Opposed empty tax credit to offset tax increases

SB93: Prohibits the $25 credit for educational expenses for each child attending nonpublic elementary and secondary school if the tax deduction for payment of tuition is taken and establishes the Student Assessment for a Valuable Education (SAVE) Credit Program.

Analysis by The Baton Rouge Advocate: Passage of the SAVE fund was crucial because Jindal was virtually certain to veto the budget if the Legislature hadn't approved the measure. The SAVE plan will impose a fee of almost $1,600 per student that the students won't actually pay because the plan will create tax credits--phantom tax credits in the eyes of critics--that offset the fee. The tax credits allow Jindal to offset all of the tax measures approved by legislators.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 59-44-2, Vote #1102 on Jun/11/15; State Rep. John Bel Edwards voted NO; Passed Senate 30-9-0, Vote #1107 on Jun/11/15; Signed by Governor Bobby Jindal on Jun/19/15

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate on Louisiana voting records SB93 Jun 11, 2015

Lance Harris: Approved educational tax credit to offset tax increases

SB93: Prohibits the $25 credit for educational expenses for each child attending nonpublic elementary and secondary school if the tax deduction for payment of tuition is taken and establishes the Student Assessment for a Valuable Education (SAVE) Credit Program.

Analysis by The Baton Rouge Advocate: Passage of the SAVE fund was crucial because Jindal was virtually certain to veto the budget if the Legislature hadn't approved the measure. The SAVE plan will impose a fee of almost $1,600 per student that the students won't actually pay because the plan will create tax credits--phantom tax credits in the eyes of critics--that offset the fee. The tax credits allow Jindal to offset all of the tax measures approved by legislators.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 59-44-2, Vote #1102 on Jun/11/15; State Rep. Lance Harris voted YES; Passed Senate 30-9-0, Vote #1107 on Jun/11/15; Signed by Governor Bobby Jindal on Jun/19/15

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate on Louisiana voting records SB93 Jun 11, 2015

Ralph Abraham: America has been taxed to the point of bankruptcy

No new taxes for businesses and individuals. America has been taxed to the point of Bankruptcy. If our government spent his/her tax money wisely and frugally, there would be far less national debt and the average American household income would be higher. How novel an idea that the government should budget our tax money just as the average American MUST budget our family incomes to survive. YOU already pay more than your "fair share".
Source: 2014 Louisiana House campaign website, RalphAbraham.com Dec 5, 2014

Ralph Abraham: Tax code is outdated and it's leaking billions

On an upcoming renewal of tax exemptions, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo took the opportunity to go after Abraham. "I don't have any issues with extending tax exemptions after I've been able to look at what they're for," he said. "As long as we're not extending tax exemptions for multi-millionaires like my opponent, then I'm okay with that."

Abraham said the tax code is a problem. "We've got to get rid of this tax code," he said. "It's overrated and it's outdated and it's leaking billions."

Source: The News-Star on 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial race Nov 20, 2014

Charles Melancon: Tax increase on wealthiest taxpayers but not middle-class

Vitter stressed his differences with Melancon on tax policy. On taxes, Vitter favor a permanent extension of all the income-tax cuts approved in the early years of President George W. Bush's administration.

Melancon said he supports extending the tax cuts for middle-income earners but allowing rates to increase on the wealthiest taxpayers. "Every one of us wants to extend the present tax rates... except one candidate, Charlie Melancon," Vitter said.

The candidates were less sure of themselves when asked for specifics on what federal spending they would seek to offset the tax cuts with corresponding cuts to spending. Vitter did not offer any suggestions for what he would cut, while Melancon suggested that Congress should take its cue from a government report that details which federal programs and agencies are "not giving bang for the buck."

Source: NOLA.com coverage of 2010 Louisiana Senate debate Oct 28, 2010

David Vitter: Permanent extension of all Bush tax cuts

Vitter stressed his differences with Melancon on tax policy. On taxes, Vitter favor a permanent extension of all the income-tax cuts approved in the early years of President George W. Bush's administration.

Melancon said he supports extending the tax cuts for middle-income earners but allowing rates to increase on the wealthiest taxpayers. "Every one of us wants to extend the present tax rates... except one candidate, Charlie Melancon," Vitter said.

The candidates were less sure of themselves when asked for specifics on what federal spending they would seek to offset the tax cuts with corresponding cuts to spending. Vitter did not offer any suggestions for what he would cut, while Melancon suggested that Congress should take its cue from a government report that details which federal programs and agencies are "not giving bang for the buck."

Source: NOLA.com coverage of 2010 Louisiana Senate debate Oct 28, 2010

John Neely Kennedy: Cut taxes & stop deficit-spending, to fight economic crisis

Kennedy focused on the countryís economic crisis rather than presidential politics as he faced off with Landrieu. He said Congress should cut taxes so people have more money to spend and pay bills, should stop deficit-spending and should put limits on the nationís banks and lending firms.

The state treasurer didnít mention Landrieuís endorsement for Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, an endorsement Kennedy has used to describe Landrieu as a ďtax-and-spend liberal.Ē

Source: Associated Press on NOLA.com on 2008 Louisiana Senate Debate Oct 16, 2008

  • The above quotations are from State of Louisiana Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Oct 13, 2021