Upcoming legislative session to have dialogue on eliminating state income tax, speaker says

by | Mar 16, 2023 | Uncategorized

Home » Upcoming legislative session to have dialogue on eliminating state income tax, speaker says

Eliminating the state’s personal income tax is expected to be a significant topic of discussion at the Legislature’s upcoming session, an official with the Louisiana Business and Industry said.

Beverly Haydel, lead consultant for LABI’s LA23 intiative, said the issue along with further attempts to centralize sales tax collection throughout the state would be the most important tax policy issue for the business community in the upcoming session, which starts next month.

Haydel, one of three panelists speaking at One Acadiana’s LABI legislativge outlook event this morning, said the income tax issue is something that won’t happen this year but discussions could set the stage for action in coming yesr. Other states in the region, including Texas, Louisiana and Florida, are states Louisiana often competes with for jobs, and no income tax gives those states and advantage.

“I do think you will see a robust discussion around that topic and different options for getting there,” Haydel said. “Either eliminating the income tax or moving to a low flat tax, which a lot of people like as well. The devil’s in the details in terms of how do we get there. We’ve got some looming fiscal things coming in 2025 with the temporary sales tax rolling off. But I do think there will be a lot of productive conversations.”

The issue is being championed by state Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Richard Nelson, R-Mandeville. Nelson has favored eliminating income tax and replacing that state revenue with property taxes, lowering the homestead exemption and ending the Industrial Tax Exemption Program.

The centralized sales tax issue is one that has continues to surface at the capitol despite it failing with voters when it was proposed as a constitutional amendment two years ago. It would have allowed businesses to submit sales tax to the state instead of each parish, a measure that won support in Lafayette and St. Landry parishes but failed elsewhere in Acadiana and other parishes.

“As we move across the state and talk to folks about the simplification of our tax code, that is the single-most important issue that we hear,” Haydel said.

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