Posted by: Tim Mathis

As families in Louisiana and across the country begin to sit down and fill out their tax returns, a few will benefit more than everyone else. According to the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the compromise tax plan recently signed into law provides more than a quarter of its tax cuts to the wealthiest one percent of Americans. In Louisiana, the top five percent of taxpayers will receive almost $1.1 billion this year. The average tax cut for the wealthiest families making $909,000 was $34,000. At least 40 percent of Louisiana households make less than that amount in an entire year. This raises questions as to whose interests are truly important to our representatives in Congress.

A report by the Congressional Budget Office points out that income tax cuts are the least effective boost to the economy compared with other policies such as unemployment aid or infrastructure investment. However, Louisiana lawmakers have a unique opportunity to reap benefits from the federal income tax cuts. Other states have created new income tax rates and brackets on the highest earners. By enacting a similar proposal, Louisiana could generate up to $117 million in additional revenue to maintain basic services in education and health care that face elimination this year. It’s a proven policy that would keep more money at home in Louisiana to support the needs of thousands of working families.