The Louisiana Senate is expected to debate a bill this week which would eliminate the state’s personal and corporate income taxes over a five-year period. By the time it’s fully phased in, the proposal would cost the state $4 billion annually.
The House Ways and Means Committee already approved separate measures to eliminate these same taxes. None of the legislation being discussed replaces the revenue that would be lost as result. Note that the state is already grappling with a $1.6 billion shortfall for the next fiscal year.
One might think that Governor Bobby Jindal, who signed into law several significant tax cuts and also signed Grover Norquist's "no new taxes" pledge, is the driving force behind the proposals.
But the plan to eventually create a $4 billion dollar hole in the state’s budget is apparently too radical even for Jindal. The Governor’s spokesman said of the proposal, “We're not going to take it seriously if they don't put together a spending plan.”
Some critics of Jindal on the right argue that some of the tax cuts he signed into law were measures that he initially opposed but then took credit for after he caved in to pressure to support them. Let's just hope that this time, anti-tax lawmakers really have found the limit of Jindal's fiscal irresponsibility.