The Louisiana senate approves a bill that would increase the state's four-cent sales tax by another penny. It would go into effect on April first and generate cash quickly, as the state is trying to close a 940-million dollar budget deficit.
The House has also agreed to raise the state sales tax by one cent, but they want the extra penny to expire after 18 months. The senate's legislation calls for a five year sunset, unless revenue collections reach certain benchmarks which would allow for the additional cent to come off the books.
It will likely take a conference committee, made up of House and Senate members, to agree on a sunset date.
Meanwhile, the State House of Representatives continues to put off voting on numerous tax bills, including one that would increase the tax on alcohol for the first time in decades. Governor John Bel Edwards has suggested tax hikes as a way to help solve the state’s fiscal crisis.
The special session must end March 9th.