Posted by: Teaway Zehyoue Collins
A guest column by LBP Director Edward Ashworth, published in the December 25, 2010, edition of the Lafayette Advertiser, entitled “Revenue should be part of fix for LA colleges,” reviews Louisiana’s fiscal crisis and suggests the state should include additional sources of revenue, instead of relying only on cuts to higher education, to solve the state’s fiscal crisis. Here is an excerpt:
While Louisiana has suffered like other states from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, much of our fiscal problem is self-induced. We shot ourselves in both feet when, during flush economic times, we enacted the largest tax cuts in the state’s history in 2007 and 2008.
In response to three years of continuing revenue shortfalls, the state has imposed multiple cuts on higher education despite Louisiana’s job market having changed dramatically in the past quarter century.
Balancing the budget by offering fewer higher education opportunities and making those that are offered more expensive is shortsighted. Instead of relying only on cuts, Louisiana needs a balanced approach that includes revenue.