HURD: Louisiana Is Taxing Itself Into Extinction, And It Has To Stop

There is something terribly wrong in Louisiana.  Our children can not find work and prosperity in our state, compared to the opportunities they find elsewhere.

The Pew Charitable Trusts, a well respected think-tank that produces reliable cross-state activities and results, again has confirmed Louisiana’s great and continuing exodus. Pew finds that between 2020 and 2021, Louisiana had a net population loss, while all other states in the southeast from Texas and Oklahoma on the west through to Virginia and down to Florida, including all states in between, had robust population growth. In contrast, Louisiana cannot keep our best and brightest at home.

An earlier study by Public Affairs Research (Louisiana) found that within our “out-migration,” the majority of those leaving were the highest-trained and educated theretofore residents of Louisiana. Ironically, even illegal immigrants flooding the United States have not propped up Louisiana’s population. Even the illegals don’t come to Louisiana looking for opportunity.

It is easy to understand, as PAR’s study found, the more highly-trained and well-educated our children and friends are, the more likely it is that they have left, or are about to leave, Louisiana.  This “out-migration” is a cancer on Louisiana’s economic strength and social well being.

The question, then, is “What are we doing in Louisiana that is so wrong that it drives our children and our fellow American citizens out of our Great and Beloved State?”

Many believe, and this author is one of those believers, that Louisiana’s fundamental social cancer is its gluttonous and oppressive state government.  Baton Rouge overtaxes the prosperity grown by our productive workers and business owners. And, for anything new economically, our state government regulates it and chokes it until it wilts and dies. or leaves Louisiana for more fertile economic pastures.

The multi-year, continuing fact that Louisiana is a shrinking populace subjected to astronomically highs tate taxes is undeniable.  When compared to our neighboring states in the Southeast, the grossly excess taxation of the people in Louisiana is clear and undeniable.

For example, the Tax Foundation, a nationally respected think-tank (analyzing the most recent statistics available for 2016 and 2018), confirmed that Louisiana’s per capita tax burden was $3,888 in 2016, and rose to $4,378 in 2018.  This confirms that between those two years, the tax burden on each of man, woman and child in Louisiana rose by almost $500.

That is burden enough for each of us.  But strategically more important is its debilitating burden on Louisiana, when compared to the tax burden imposed by other states.  We must recognize that Louisiana’s 2016 tax burden was $682 (17.5%) more per person than in Alabama, or $566 (14.5%) over Tennessee, and $410 (10.5%) more burdensome than in Florida.  And remember, this cancerous tax burden is on every single walking, working, breathing person in Louisiana.  Not per family, but per person.

There are two cancerous taxes killing Louisiana’s economic future.

First, and foremost, Louisiana imposes a significant personal income tax on all of those earning a living, or running a business in Louisiana.  There is no comparison to Florida, or Texas or Tennessee, and coming soon Mississippi, because these states have eliminated this burden on productivity.  Simply said, the states that are prospering in today’s economy are States who have shrunk their state government, and rewarded their people with freedom from personal income taxation.  This “no income tax” development is seen as the straightest and fastest path to economic growth and prosperity.

Secondly, Louisiana’s sales taxes are the second highest in the nation (in 2021) at 9.52%. Florida’s sales taxes are 7.08%, Georgia’s sales tax rate is 7.32% and Texas’ sales tax rate is 8.19%.

Sales taxes are our second cancerous, economic killing, government tax.  These taxes are killing the Louisiana economic patient.  To cure ourselves economically, Louisiana must cut its sales tax rate by a third (at least).  Everyone else prospers at the lower rate.  A full third cut of our 10% sales tax only lowers Louisiana’s sales tax level to the level of our prosperous neighbors.  All our neighboring states are prospering with low sales tax policies.

Lowering sales taxes immediately, leaving that money in our family’s hands, is the nourishment that the Louisiana economy needs to resurrect itself.  If all the other states prosper with this low level, then Louisiana need only cut the taxers to grow our economy in today’s economic world.

With this undeniable economic poisons identified, we must demand their elimination. It is time to set Louisiana’s people free.

Louisiana must eliminate all personal income taxes, and immediately cut our state sales taxes by at least a third, down to no more than six (6.00%) percent total.

The solution to Louisiana’s current social malaise, is pure and simple.  The solution is to “Cut Those Cancerous Taxes Out.”

Eliminate our two most debilitating state taxes and prosperity will rise like rain on rice in the summer.  These cancerous taxes are eating at our very being.  Repeal Louisiana’s personal income taxes now.  And with the reduced income taxes and sales taxes, do not let anyone mislead you and claim government must “replace” these taxes.  Their elimination is the cure. Every other neighboring state is thriving on less government and more prosperity.  Trust the people to set their own, best path to prosperity.

Now is the time for the solution.  Now is our opportunity to birth Louisiana excellence. Cut these cancerous taxes and raise up prosperity on the Bayou.  Louisiana is great, and we will heal quickly.  In two years, Louisiana will be calling back our trained and educated children: back in droves from Dallas and Nashville.  Our long ago neighbors and new friends from around the U.S. will be flooding back for the Louisiana life of prosperity and Louisiana food, festivals, good times on the Bayou.

Louisiana excellence is a good investment. Hyperexpensive, mediocre state government has proven to be a bad one. It’s time for a new direction.

 

By Paul Hurd, Attorney by Trade

Husband and Father by Love and Faith

Monroe, Louisiana

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