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SB business leaders meet with Governor Edwards about tax reform

Shreveport, La. - Governor John Bel Edwards invites business leaders from across the state to talk about what is needed for tax reform. Several leaders from Shreveport-Bossier attended the meeting held Tuesday in Baton Rouge.


Business leaders said Governor Edward's wanted their input on ways to simply the tax structure and the dilemmas it puts them in.
Louisiana faces an one-billion-dollar fiscal cliff next year when the temporary one cent sales tax expires. This session, legislators were presented with data and possible solutions for budget reforms from a state appointed budget taskforce. But a compromise could not be reached, so no changes took place this year. Business owners said during the meeting they discussed phasing out some exemptions and centralizing sales tax districts.

"We need to have a simple, more predictable tax structure. That's what states that have been very business friendly over the last few years have been doing and Louisiana needs to the same," said Phillip Rozeman, Cardiovascular Consultants.

"It makes it complicated for businesses in Louisiana with such a complicated tax structure. So that needs to be clean up and rates lowered, and some exemptions taken away so we can have a lower tax rate without adding new taxes," said Wayne Brown, Brown Builders.
"Texas does not the inventory tax and their ad valorem tax is extremely low. We need to be competitive," said Linda Biernacki, Fire Tech Systems, Inc.

They said on the surface Louisiana has a high tax rate compared to other states. However, the added exemptions makes it one of least effective tax rates and the burden ends up falling on smaller businesses.

The business owners said they were impressed with the Governor's knowledge in these areas and were pleased to see more people from the northwest region getting a say in Baton Rouge.


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