by C.B. Forgotston
Already leges, members of the media, etc., are coming out in support of Bobby Jindal’s proposed tax swap plan. My question to them is: Have you seen the plan? If so, please share the details with us.
The leges don’t enact oral commentary; they enact written documents.
On Tuesday, at the LABI Annual meeting Bobby Jindal’s point man, Tim Barfield, on the tax swap plan said: “The elimination of severance taxes on the states natural resources also are not included in the conversation…. Baton Rouge Advocate, January 16, 2012.”
Last Friday, in the Times Picayune it was reported: “Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration is considering the elimination of state taxes on oil and gas extraction as part of the governor’s tax overhaul for the upcoming legislative session, according to the state Department of Revenue.”
That’s a $700 Million difference; another reason to see the specific plan.
What’s the plan?
It has become obvious that Team Jindal, currently, has no plan and are merely throwing things against the wall to see what sticks, politically. Unfortunately, the public is only hearing “income tax repeal” and not, specifically, how those revenues will be replaced on a revenue-neutral basis. Recall the initial discussions of Jindal’s “pension reform” plan last year at this time. The purpose was supposedly to reduce the $19 Billion Unfunded Accrued Liability (“UAL”). That is a laudable goal.
However, when the plan was reduced to writing and introduced in the 2012 Lege Session, there was nothing in the legislation to reduce the UAL.
For what it’s worth, I suggest that Team Jindal come up with a specific written plan to accomplish a specific goal, i.e., improving the state’s economy. The plan should not only be given to the leges, but released to the public; we, the citizens of Louisiana, will be paying the cost of whatever plan is enacted.
Otherwise, this is just an exercise in Jindal’s political stroke.
Right now, Jindal is merely selling the sizzle without us being able to see and taste the steak.