New in Brief, Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Louisiana collecting more state taxes from worker paychecks
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana taxpayers can expect to see a bigger bite out of their paychecks for state taxes.
The state revenue department adjusted the amount of money employers withhold from paychecks for state taxes, in response to federal tax law changes approved by Congress and President Donald Trump.
The updated withholding tables took effect Friday
Louisiana's income tax laws are tied to federal income tax policy. The changes lowering federal income tax liabilities will boost state tax collections. Louisiana is estimated to receive an additional $226 million in personal income taxes annually because of the changes, money expected to lower a $1 billion budget gap.
The revenue department says the updated withholding tables are aimed at keeping workers from having a large state income tax bill at the end of the year.
US rig count remains unchanged at 975
HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. didn't increase this week, remaining at 975 for the second week in a row. That exceeds the 751 rigs that were active this time a year ago.
Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday that 798 rigs drilled for oil this week and 177 for gas.
Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma increased by five rigs, Alaska gained four and Pennsylvania increased by three.
New Mexico decreased by three rigs; Louisiana, Ohio and West Virginia each lost two; and Colorado and North Dakota each decreased by one. Arkansas, California, Kansas, Texas, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.
Posted on Tue, February 20, 2018
by The Lafourche Gazette