On Friday, Dan Juneau, President of LABI, wrote a column outlining how Bobby Jindal has reversed the reforms put in place on the Louisiana Tax Commission. ( See here.)
Today, Mike Hasten, reporter for Gannett newspapers, writes about Jindal reversing the long-standing governmental reform known as the Public Records Law. ( See here.)
There’s no need to waste time convincing people in Louisiana that Jindal is not a “reformer.” At least 70% of us know that.
1. A good start in restoring confidence in state government would be to fix what Jindal broke regarding the enforcement of the Ethics Laws and the Public Records Law. That is simple; reinstate the laws as they existed pre-Jindal becoming governor.
2. Next we have to look at tax reform. The current method of bribing businesses to come to Louisiana or to stay here as practiced by Jindal can’t work in the future.
–In order to reform taxation, we need to start with local governments’ primary tax base. As Juneau points out, that requires a governor who cares enough about proper property tax assessments for to appoint like-minded people to the Tax Commission.
–The rest is equally simple; it just takes political courage. Remove ALL State Sales and Personal Income Tax exemptions; repeal the Corporate Income and Franchise Taxes.
— Next lower the Sales and Personal Income Tax rates on a revenue-neutral basis (no additional state revenues). If we did that, the State Sales Tax rate would be in the range of 1.5 cents on the dollar and the Personal Income Tax rate would be around a 1% flat rate.
–With no corporate taxes and very competitive Sales and Personal Income Tax rates we should have no problem attracting new businesses, retaining and growing existing businesses.
In the interest of the future of our state, these issues must be made the ONLY campaign issues for the 2015 gubernatorial and lege elections. Every candidate for a state elective office should have to agree to these reforms in their campaign literature in order to get our vote in 2015.
If you don’t like my plan come up with your own so that we can all start getting behind it NOW. Jindal proved that last minute tax reform (even as dumb as it was) won’t work.
We need specific, detailed, plans not merely platitudes such “tax and budget reform.” Jindal’s platitudes are how we got in the mess we are in.
Who or what organization will step up with a plan?