The state is facing another $1.6 billion deficit in FY 2015-2016, even as the state experiences an economic boom. Tax reductions, credits, and exemptions will likely be on the table as topics of discussion for adjustments. Furthermore, because of the constitutional and statutory protections in Louisiana law, prioritization in budgeting is nearly impossible. Tax competitiveness is important to the overall business climate and for improved business recruitment, retention, and expansion.
Now is the time for C100 take the leadership role and revitalize the Committee for a Secure Louisiana (SECURE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. SECURE will partner with the LSU Public Administration Institute (Dr. James Richardson), PAR, & CABL to produce a study by the Washington D.C.-based Tax Foundation outlining fiscal reform options. The study is designed to develop consensus amongst various stakeholders while giving legislators the tools and ideas they need to develop reform proposals that promote sustained economic growth and attract investment. The findings will outline proposed fiscal reform solutions for the state of Louisiana that will address the current tax environment, identify areas of reform and propose pro-growth and broad-based fiscal reform solutions. These solutions are to outline how to eliminate the structural deficit we face each fiscal year and will be directed to the candidates for statewide elected positions, most specifically gubernatorial candidates. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, any contributions made to Committee for a Secure Louisiana are tax-deductible as charitable donations. (See IRS Pub. 526). Secure is an independent corporation with a separate bank account from which all contributions will be managed and administered by C100 staff and Executive Committee appointed members. The Tax Foundation work is expected to be completed within 6 months with the first findings out in June 2015 for candidates to digest for their platforms. Dr. Jim Richardson will be the team leader utilizing his vast experience and that of the LSU Public Administration Institute as we work with PAR, CABL and others to illuminate the issues and make recommendations on how to find solutions as we move into 2016, a new administration and perhaps a special session and legislative sessions beyond an early special session in 2016.
This Fiscal Reform project was outlined and presented to members at the C100 Spring Annual Meeting and Gubernatorial Forum on March 31, 2015 in Baton Rouge. You may view a video of that presentation here.