The Louisiana State Legislature opened its sixth special session in three years because it could not get much done in the previous session and budget issues must be resolved before or by June 30, 2018.
This session the legislature accepted 22 bills, which include sales tax extensions, income tax credit increases and a constitutional amendment to cap annual spending at 6 percent. Other bills deal with corporate tax credits, industry tax rebates, online retailers and the Louisiana Checkbook website. For a full list of the bills introduced, go here.
House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, and Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge, introduced 13-page bills that would establish the Louisiana Checkbook website and its administration.
Barras also sponsored two proposed budgetary control constitutional amendments (HB 12 and HB 14) designed to cap the general fund’s annual expenditure growth at 6 percent.
Some of the bills propose taxing the film industry and capping the level of tax credits it can claim, increasing the corporate tax rate by repealing the expiration of reductions in some corporate income tax exclusions and deductions, adjusting individual income tax deductions, increasing the amount of the state’s earned income tax credit, and extending sales taxes. Of the income tax proposals, two would increase the amount taxpayers can claim in earned income tax credits and one would expand tax exemptions for tangible property.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said this week that he supports extending at least part of the sunsetting 1-cent sales tax. The bills were referred to the House Ways & Means Committee, which begins hearings to consider them today.
Whether or not, and which bills pass remains to be seen. It will be up to the legislature to try and get some things done in its sixth special session in three years.