Gov. Bobby Jindal delivers a speech to the lawmakers in Baton Rouge Monday. He said he has shelved his plan to eliminate income taxes and raise sales tax. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 6:35 PM
BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal may have derailed his plan to repeal the state’s individual and corporate income taxes, but word was circulating through the Capitol on Tuesday that he wants to hitch his railcar to one of 16 similar bills in the legislative pipeline.
Unlike the governor’s plan and an effort to repeal state income taxes two years ago, none of the measures on the House and Senate calendars provide for replacing lost income tax revenues.
The proposal that the governor abandoned sought to increase the state sales tax, levy the higher tax on new services, increase the state’s tobacco tax and remove some exemptions to replace more than $3 billion in revenues that would be lost if income taxes are repealed.
When Jindal abandoned his effort Monday, he asked lawmakers to send him some legislation repealing all income taxes. He said he accepted the fact public sentiment didn’t favor his proposals to replace lost revenues.
“I want to tell you that firstly, that’s certainly not what I wanted to hear,” Jindal said. “But I heard those comments.”
The 16 pending income tax repeal bills would eliminate the tax over 10-, five- and three-year periods. Two would wipe them out in 2014.
Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings, has filed Senate Bill 138, which is almost a carbon copy of a similar measure filed in 2011 by former state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Livonia.
Morrish said he opposed that bill two years ago, but now believes it is the proper way to repeal income taxes.
Marionneaux wanted a 10-year phaseout and said lost revenues could be recaptured by eliminating some of the $7.1 billion in tax exemptions granted at that time. Many of those exemptions are still on the books, and some authors of those 16 current bills are expected to offer a solution similar to Marionneaux’s.
Personal income taxes are now levied at 2 percent of the first $12,500 of net income, at 4 percent for the next $37,500 of net income and at 6 percent of any income in excess of $50,000.
Morrish’s legislation would reduce personal and corporate income taxes by 10 percent a year beginning in calendar year 2014. The tax would be phased out by 2023.
Rep. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, has three repeal bills.
House Bill 178 would repeal all corporate income and franchise taxes by Jan. 1, 2014. H.B. 586 would establish a flat tax of 1.9 percent of net income of individuals in excess of $12,500. The tax would be doubled on joint returns. H.B. 669 would phase out the individual income tax over a six-year period, beginning Jan. 1, 2015. There would be no tax after Jan. 1, 2020.
Another 10-year phaseout is sponsored by Rep. Hunter Greene, R-Baton Rouge. H.B. 271 would begin Jan. 1, 2014. Greene had a similar bill in 2011, but the Marionneaux measure was the one advanced by lawmakers.
H.B. 640, by Greene, would phase out the corporate income tax over 10 years. There would be no tax after Jan. 1, 2025.
Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, has two income tax bills. H.B. 505 would phase out the individual income tax over 10 years. H.B. 634 would do the same thing for the corporate income and franchise taxes.
Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge, has a 10-year phaseout (H.B. 507) a five-year plan (H.B. 632) and a three-year corporate tax phaseout (H.B. 637).
Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa, has two bills. H.B. 338 would reduce the corporate tax rates by 1 percent, beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Current rates range from 4 percent to 8 percent, depending on income levels ranging from $25,000 to income above $200,000.
HB 394 by Ritchie reduces individual income tax rates by one percent. Current rates are 2, 4 and 6 percent.
Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, has HB 609 that reduces individual income tax rates from 2 to 1.75 percent, from 4 to 3 percent and from 6 to 5 percent. HB 626 by Jackson reduces the corporate income tax by one percent and repeals the corporate franchise tax.
Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, is sponsor of SB 194 that repeals all income taxes after Jan. 1, 2014.
Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee that will hear any legislation dealing with income taxes. He was sponsor of three additional bills that were in the governor’s package that Jindal said he would not pursue.