Temporary tax about to become permanent

Lawmakers are looking to make permanent the temporary .45-cent increase added to the state sales taxes in 2018 to balance the budget.

The budget no longer needs balancing, said state Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen.

But Louisiana does need more money to repair and maintain state highways and bridges that are facing a $14 billion backlog of work. And that near half cent addition that made state sales taxes 4.45 cents per dollar seems like a more realistic way to raise the necessary revenues than passing a tax on gasoline, he added.

On Wednesday, Ward took the wording from a House bill and amended it onto legislation that set up taxes and fees for the use of smokable marijuana for therapeutical reasons. The legislation needs to first be vetted by the Senate Finance Committee, which meets again noon Tuesday, June 1, then receive at least 26 votes from the Senate. It’ll then need to return to the House, where 70 representatives must agree before Gov. John Bel Edwards would decide whether to sign it into law.

But with Senate President Page Cortez on board, Ward says he’s confident the legislation will clear its various hurdles in the remaining days before… Continue Reading Full Story >>>

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