Louisiana House approves sales tax renewal to avoid steep budget cuts

Rep. Paula Davis, a first-term legislator, presented the compromise bill that resolved a battle in the House over renewing part of a cent of state sales tax. (Photo: Sarah Gamard)

Paul Braun, Drew White and Tryfon Boukouvidis

The House erupted into cheers Friday after voting 74-24 to renew 0.45 percent of an expiring penny of sales tax until 2025, breaking a huge logjam and reaching a compromise with Gov. John Bel Edwards after nearly five months of intense fighting.

The bill would generate $466 million in additional revenue next year, falling $182 million short of the $648 million that Edwards had originally sought but only $42 million less than was needed to fund a somewhat reduced budget that the Legislature passed earlier this month.

Legislators said the compromise should provide enough money to fully fund TOPS, higher education, state health care services and other priorities while narrowing cuts to the Department of Corrections and payments to sheriffs for housing state prisoners.

Read the story in The Town Talk.

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