By Jan Moller
Times of crisis call for shared sacrifice. But the deal being offered by big business interests to solve Louisiana’s historic budget shortfall would violate that basic principle by putting too much of the burden on working families that can least absorb a tax increase.
With Louisiana facing a $900 million budget gap that threatens critical health and education programs, a temporary one-penny increase to the state sales tax is a reasonable solution – as long as it’s part of a broader framework of revenue increases and prudent budget cuts. Even so, raising the state sales tax from 4 percent to 5 percent would make Louisiana’s combined (state & local) sales tax rate the highest in the country, according to the Tax Foundation.