Proposal advanced to reduce, eventually repeal portion of state sales tax

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Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, presented on Monday a bill that would reduce and eventually repeal the portion of the state sales tax that was extended last year. (Photo credit: Sarah Gamard, LSU Manship School News Service)

By: Tryfon Boukouvidis, LSU Manship School News Service

Published: May 13, 2019

BATON ROUGE–The House Ways and Means Committee on Monday advanced a proposal that would reduce and eventually repeal the portion of the state sales tax that the Legislature extended last year after months of partisan wrangling.

The bill, by Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, would gradually phase out the extra 0.45 of a cent of sales tax by 2023. It would reduce the tax by one-tenth of a penny every year from 2020 to 2022 and repeal the rest in 2023.

Under the proposal, the state would lose a total of $392 million in revenues by 2024.

“We might be extracting too much money out of the taxpayer’s pocket because we’re continually ending up with surpluses’’ Harris said,” and we continually raise taxes and fees over the last years.”

He said that a survey of his constituents indicated support for the measure.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is up for re-election this fall, said Friday that he opposed any measures to significantly rollback the extra revenue created by last year’s sales tax deal, which, he said, returned the state to financial stability.

Read more in KALB.

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