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Wednesday, November 14, 2018



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Who will pay?: A look at tax proposals up for House debate

Who will pay?: A look at tax proposals up for House debate

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers in the Louisiana House will consider Thursday more than 30 tax proposals that could help balance this year's budget and drum up more money long-term for the state treasury. Estimates were still being worked out on what the bills could raise. Here's what is known about what some of the measures would do:

SALES TAXES

—Increase Louisiana's 4-cent sales tax by another penny on every dollar spent, starting April 1, without many of the exemptions allowed on the other four pennies of the tax. Revenue raised: $220 million for this year's budget and $910 million annually. House Bill 62.
—Rework a sales tax exemption for business utilities, requiring companies to pay the 4 percent tax, but with provisions to lower the rate if natural gas prices rise, starting April 1. Revenue raised: $60 million for this year's budget and $240 million annually. House Bill 64.
—Charge a state sales tax on hotel rooms booked through online travel companies like Expedia and short-term rental sites like Airbnb. Revenue raised: Uncertain. House Bill 59.
—Provide a method for collecting state sales tax from online retailers. Revenue raised: Uncertain. House Bill 30.
—Cap the amount a vendor collecting sales tax on behalf of Louisiana can receive as compensation for turning over the payment, starting April 1. Revenue raised: $2 million for this year's budget and $8 million annually. House Bill 43.

SIN TAXES

—Boost the cigarette tax from 86 cents per pack to $1.08, starting April 1. Revenue raised: $16 million for this year's budget and $46 million annually. House Bill 14.
—Increase the tax rates charged on liquor, wine and beer, starting April 1. Revenue raised: $9 million for this year's budget and $28 million annually. House Bill 27.

INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAXES

—Increase the state income tax for middle- and upper-income residents who itemize their tax deductions, by cutting the percentage of federal excess itemized deductions they can deduct. Revenue raised: $142 million annually. House Bill 33.
—Eliminate the state tax deduction for federal income taxes in exchange for lower individual tax rates. Revenue raised: Uncertain. House Bills 31, 32 and 95.
—Increase income taxes on people with a net income above $17,500 a year. Revenue raised: $324 million in the 2016-17 budget year and $259 million annually thereafter. House Bill 34.
—Double the amount of a state tax credit for the working poor, called the Earned Income Tax Credit. Cost: $47 million a year. House Bill 5.

BUSINESS TAXES

—Make permanent across-the-board cuts on many tax break and business tax rebate programs. The reductions are due to expire on June 30, 2018. Revenue raised: Won't affect the treasury until 2018. House Bills 22, 23 and 24.
—Reduce the tax credit businesses can receive from the state for paying local property taxes on their inventory. Revenue raised: $290 million annually. House Bill 46.
—Change what businesses can deduct from their income for tax purposes. Revenue raised: Uncertain. House Bill 55.

OTHER TAXES

—Reinstate a 3 percent state car rental tax that expired four years ago, starting April 1. Revenue raised: $800,000 for this year's budget and $5 million for the state annually. House Bill 39.
—Renew the state telecommunications tax. Revenue raised: No change. House Bill 72.

Source of revenue estimates: Legislative Fiscal Office.

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