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Reports, Fact Sheets and Commentaries

Eliminating Louisiana’s Income Taxes Will Hurt the State’s Economy

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to abolish Louisiana’s income taxes is based on a flawed economic analysis and is likely to hurt the state’s economy rather than boost it, according to a new report by the Louisiana Budget Project.

Medicaid Expansion Generates Significant Savings that Offset Cost

A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project looks at the significant savings that the state would realize if Louisiana were to accept billions of federal dollars that are available to extend Medicaid coverage to as many as 400,000 low-income adults beginning in 2014.

Real Tax Exemption Reform Must Prevent Future Waste and Misuse

Louisiana lost more than $4.8 billion in 2011 from tax exemptions, a 167 percent increase since 2001. Once a tax break gets on the books, it drains state revenue year after year without legislative review. As the Louisiana Legislature prepares to debate tax exemptions during its upcoming session, the Louisiana Budget Project recommends several reforms that would prevent the tax exemption process from being abused in the future.

LBP Testimony to Revenue Study Commission

Louisiana’s convoluted tax code grants lucrative benefits to movie producers, big-box retailers and certain types of oil and gas drilling. As the Revenue Study Commission reviewed Louisiana’s 468 tax exemptions, the Louisiana Budget Project testified about ways that these tax breaks could be re-tailored to better serve taxpayers and the public.

Pulling Apart: Income Inequality Worsening in Louisiana; Shared Prosperity at Risk

A new report ranks Louisiana sixth worst in the nation for income inequality, and found that the gap between rich and poor has grown faster in Louisiana than in most other states.

Louisiana’s Earned Income Tax Credit: A Smart Investment in Working Families and Children

With poverty on the rise in Louisiana, especially among children, policymakers should expand the state’s version of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – a tried-and-true tax benefit for families that work, but earn low wages.

Medicaid Expansion: An Opportunity to Invest in Louisiana’s Workforce

A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project takes an in-depth look at the occupational groups that would benefit the most from the Medicaid expansion, including workers in key industries such as health-care, tourism and construction.

Louisiana Film Tax Credits: Costly Giveaways to Hollywood

A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project takes an in-depth look at these costly giveaways, and suggests ways the Legislature could improve the program.

2012 Legislative Session Wrap Up: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The 2012 legislative session ended on June 4, with lawmakers making more cuts in public education and health care while siphoning millions of dollars to private schools and special-interest tax breaks. In a new report, the Louisiana Budget Project summarizes the good, the bad and the ugly in Louisiana’s new budget.

Fact Sheet: Creating a Health Insurance Exchange is Right Choice for Louisiana

A report making the rounds this week gave several reasons – all of them misleading – for why Louisiana should not try to set up a competitive marketplace for health insurance. But a new fact sheet from the Louisiana Budget Project sets the record straight, and explains why Louisiana will benefit from establishing its own health insurance exchange instead of outsourcing the job to the federal government.

Commentary: Louisiana’s High Incarceration Rate Drives Costs, Privatizing Prisons Doesn’t Solve the Problem

Louisiana Budget Project has released a commentary arguing that although privatizing a state-run prison in Avoyelles Parish might save the state some money, it would come at a steep cost to state workers and public safety.

Health-Care Reform: Federal Health Insurance Exchange Requires State Cooperation 

Louisiana Budget Project has released a fact sheet reminding Louisiana legislators and other interested parties that several important policy decisions and milestones lie ahead as the state and federal government move to set up a new health insurance exchange.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s School Voucher Plan Gets An ‘F’ For Accountability

A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project finds that Gov . Bobby Jindal’s plan to dramatically expand the state’s private school voucher program is lacking the strong accountability and transparency requirements that parents need to make informed decisions about their children’s educational needs.

Medicaid Supports Economic Growth, Creates Jobs in Louisiana

A new report looks at Medicaid’s impact on Louisiana’s economy and is the second of two papers highlighting the program’s vital role in protecting the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Medicaid in Louisiana: Improving Health, Protecting Children

A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project highlights the importance of the state’s health-care safety-net for children and families, as well as the state’s economy. It is the first in a series of two papers highlighting the key role Medicaid plays in protecting the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Commentary: Constitutional Amendment No. 1 Would Make It Harder to Provide Essential Public Services

A proposed constitutional amendment on Louisiana’s November 19 statewide ballot to prohibit taxes on the sale of homes or businesses would damage the ability of state and local governments to provide revenue needed to support health care, education, and other essential services.

Proposal to raid tobacco settlement fund benefits the well-to-do at the expense of Louisiana’s working families

A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project urges Louisianans to vote against Amendment 1 in the upcoming October 22nd election. It analyzes the ill effects of using the constitutionally-protected Millennium Trust Fund to free additional dollars in the state general fund.

Commentary: Constitutional Amendment No. 4: A Sensible Solution to Stabilize the Rainy Day Fund

A recent commentary by the Louisiana Budget Project urges voters to approve Amendment No. 4 on the October 22nd primary ballot.

Payday Lending- Trapping Louisiana’s Working Families in a Cycle of Debt

A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project exposes the predatory-lending industry of payday lenders and urges lawmakers to put an end to this usurious practice.

2011 Legislative Wrap-up: The No-No Session

A new report by the Louisiana Budget Project reviews the state budget for the new FY2012 fiscal year.

The Real Numbers Behind Louisiana’s Public Employment Statistics

The report analyzes comparable state-to-state data to inform the recent debate concerning whether Louisiana has too many public employees.

Applying Income Tax to Social Security Would Preserve Vital Services

The report proposes applying Louisiana’s income tax to Social Security to generate $104 million in much needed revenue.

Expanding Louisiana’s Sales Tax—A Little from Everyone Means a Lot for Louisiana

The report discusses expanding the services that are subject to Louisiana’s 4 percent tax. Louisiana would generate over $141 million in additional revenue if it modernized its sales tax to include personal services.

Deduction for Federal Income Taxes: A Lopsided Loophole Costs Louisiana Millions

The report analyzes a tax loophole that costs Louisiana $643 million a year by allowing Louisianans to reduce their state taxable income by the amount they paid in federal income taxes that year.

Governor Jindal’s Executive Budget: Doing Less With Less — Again

This report reviews and analyzes Governor Bobby Jindal’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 Executive Budget.

Raising Cigarette Taxes Will Increase Revenues, Lower Health Care Costs, and Reduce Smoking– A Win, Win, Win

This report addresses how Louisiana’s cigarette tax directly relates to the state’s poor health record and extremely high smoking rate.

Two New Tax Brackets for High-Income Households Would Limit State Economic Damage

This report proposes a solution that will limit cuts to crucial services. By creating new tax brackets and raising rates for the highest-income households, the state would be able to sustain its investments in education, health care, public safety, and other services.

Itemized Deduction for State and Local Income Taxes

This report exposes a surprising loophole in Louisiana’s income tax forms that costs Louisiana over $100 million dollars of revenue each year.

TOPS and Go Grants: Louisiana’s Financial Aid Programs Reward Too Much Mediocrity and Provide Too Little for Those in Need

This report examines policy changes to the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) and Go Grants, two programs which provide tuition assistance to Louisiana residents seeking higher education at state schools.

PAYGO: A Tool to Empower the Legislature to Engage in More Responsible Budgeting

This report discusses a rule that would provide a responsible budget control mechanism for Louisiana that would empower the Legislature to prioritize budgetary expenditures, tax expenditures, and revenue policy in a way that provides for the needs of state residents.

Combined Reporting: Leveling the Playing Field to Help Louisiana’s Home-Grown Businesses

This report explores the loopholes which multi-state corporations take advantage of in order to avoid paying millions of dollars in state taxes.

Home to Roost: Income Tax Cuts Costing State Millions Needed for Services

This report discusses the consequences of the state income tax cuts.

Louisiana’s Hidden State Budget

This report discusses Louisiana’s $7 billion tax exemption budget and highlights the need for the state to shed more light on this hidden, tax-side spending.

Louisiana’s Fiscal Crisis

This report reviews Governor Jindal’s recently released 2011 Executive Budget. The report finds that the Administration’s stated budgetary goal to “realign the size and cost of government to more sustainable, pre-Katrina levels” does not reflect the expansion of post-Katrina demand for government services.

Scary Movies – Louisiana’s 2011 Budget

This report previews the Governor’s Executive Budget, schedued for release on February 12, 2010.

Eliminating State Income Tax: Good for Whom?

This report reviews several bills from the Louisiana 2009 regular legislative session that would eliminate Louisiana’s state income tax,without mandating any replacement revenues.

Targeting Tax Cuts for Seniors

This report reviews several bills from Louisiana’s 2009 regular legislative session that propose to further reduce the amount of state taxes paid by individuals over 65, some of which fully exempt them from all state income taxation.

Tobacco Tax Increase: Raise the Tax or Bear the Burden

This report analyzes the Louisiana Healthier Families Act, House Bill 889, from Louisiana’s 2009 regular legislative session that provides for an increase of the tax on cigarettes by 50 cents.

Federal Stimulus Dollars for Louisiana

This report reviews the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that became law on February 17, 2009 and the impact on Louisiana.

The State of Working in Louisiana

This report documents the status of Louisiana’s economy and the issues facing its workforce. This period encompasses a dynamic era of change for Louisiana in terms of state government leadership and economic reverberations from the storms of 2005. The recommendations in this report converge with the solutions to poverty advocated through the joint efforts of LANO’s Community Solutions Institute and The Louisiana Association of United Ways. They also complement the state’s efforts in educational improvements and industry diversification.

Budget Basics 2008

Budget Basics is designed to help all Louisiana citizens and nonprofit leaders better understand the state’s budget, advocate for fiscal policy and affect the financial priorities of the state.

EITC: A Tax Credit That Works for Louisiana’s Working Families

The EITC provides tax cuts for low-income families paying payroll and sales taxes. The credit also creates an incentive for individuals to join and remain in the workforce, and produces a significant boost in our local economies. The benefits of a state EITC match would reach all corners of the state and all types of communities – distributed fairly evenly among rural, suburban, and urban areas – and would help make our state a better place for families to work and to live.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Louisiana’s Tax Exemption Budget

Louisiana’s direct state spending routinely receives harsh scrutiny from legislators, the public and the media. But each year, Louisiana spends billions of dollars in areas that receive virtually no public examination – tax exemptions. More attention to the impact of tax policy is necessary to get a complete picture of the financial status of the state.

Presentations

Payday Lending in Louisiana: Trapping Working Families in a Cycle of Debt

Louisiana at the Crossroads: Responsible Responses to Louisiana’s Fiscal Crisis

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