Louisiana’s legislators took modest steps to address the state’s structural deficit this session, but missed several opportunities to fix the bigger problems—the widespread poverty, poor health access and low education attainment that keeps too many hard-working Louisianans from reaching their full potential.

A stronger EITC helps families

Posted on June 1, 2015

The Louisiana Legislature has a chance this week to help more than 500,000 working families across the state by strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). House Bill 70 by Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger III would double the state credit to 7 percent of the federal EITC, from the current level of 3.5 percent. … Read more...

By Steve Spires


Louisiana taxpayers have spent more than $1.5 billion over the past decade subsidizing film and TV production. Various independent studies over the years have given different estimates of the industry’s fiscal impact, yet they have one thing in common: All have found that each dollar the state spends on film production returns only a few pennies to taxpayers.… Read more...

The Louisiana Legislature starts its 2015 session this week amid a historic budget crisis that was years in the making. Louisiana’s constitution requires a balanced budget, yet the projected gap next year between tax revenues and expenses stands at $1.6 billion. Unless this deficit is plugged in a thoughtful manner that includes new revenues, the result could be deep cuts to critical state investments in education, health care, infrastructure and public safety.

Low cigarette taxes cost everyone

Posted on March 24, 2015
A large part of the costs of smoking in Louisiana are paid by people who don’t smoke.

By Steve Spires

Later this week, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration will lay out its recommendations for filling a $1.6 billion gap between revenues and expenses in next year’s state budget. Early media reports say the budget will call for steep reductions to state services that citizens depend on, such as higher education, health care and roads.… Read more...

Uneven Recovery

Posted on January 26, 2015

By Steve Spires


Families have now heard for years that the economy is recovering. Here in Louisiana, an industrial boom along the Mississippi River corridor and in the Lake Charles area is promising tens of thousands of new jobs. But despite the sunny talk, most working families aren’t seeing the results in their paychecks.… Read more...

Taxing the Poor

Posted on January 14, 2015
The "Who Pays?" report shows once again that the poorer you are in Louisiana, the higher your tax rate. This is not only unfair, it also acts as a drag on the overall economy. Luckily, there are steps that policymakers can take to change this imbalance.

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