The genius who brought this failed tax hike was State Rep. Jay Morris (R-Monroe) and the bill was HB 758. What he wanted to do was place an annual cap on all tax credits in the appropriations committee. Sounds simple enough, but once you start digging into the bill you realize how much of a nightmare it would’ve been.
First of all, the bill set a cap on all tax credits, no matter if the state was getting its bang for the buck on them or not. This would’ve punished good tax credits along with bad ones. What kind of sense does this make?
Secondly, this bill would’ve made businesses and individuals reapply for each tax credit annually. If the allowed credit amount was hit before the application was process, tough luck. This is not a good way to issue tax credits because businesses and individuals cannot plan for the future. It would essentially make every tax credit meaningless.
Thankfully sanity prevailed in this vote and it was defeated 62-39 on Wednesday. The supporters of this bill I’m sure will say they voted against “corporate welfare” and for fiscal discipline. But this bill was just simply awful and terrible for business. If we’re going to offer tax credits, there has to be a transparent process to obtaining them, if they meet the requirements. Also if they meet the requirements, there has to be a guarantee in place that they will actually get what they’re owed by the state. There also isn’t a way to estimate what these programs are going to cost in the future.
The braver approach would’ve been to eliminate some of these “tax expenditures” but that wasn’t on the table here. That would’ve taken something that has been lacking in this legislative session, leadership.
Here are the names of the “Republicans” who voted for this tax increase:
J. Rogers Pope
October is coming. If you don’t like state reps voting for tax hikes, you can do something about it by voting them out.