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Feb 5, 2013 7:35 PM by Alex Labat

Governor Proposes Dropping Income Tax

"We want the people to keep coming we don't want them to stop," says Kim Peterman who manages Don's Seafood Downtown in Lafayette. If state income tax goes away, she's concerned patrons won't have the dough to spend on dining out. Peterman says, "If it's going to make it harder on people to go out to eat, that's not good. Our business relies on that."

Secretary of Economic Development Stephen Moret disagrees, saying "If you pay taxes through an income tax, whatever you pay in taxes is essentially out of your control. if we shift to more of a consumption based system, based on sales tax, you're giving people a lot of freedom on how they deal with that."

He and Department of Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield say that the main goal of the tax shift is doing away with a number of tax exemptions, which will hopefully generate close to the same revenue as the income tax...and that the shift is not only to help big business, but small businesses.

Barfield says, "If you look at the elimination of personal income tax it's a big correlator to an entrepreneurial spirit and environment for business. certainly if you look at the significant part of our businesses are small businesses, thats a big part of the driver to. so this is a win on all fronts."

Moret says the plan will cover basic needs, and that "this plan will include sales tax exemptions on purchases of medicine, groceries, residential utilities, really the necessities of life."

Jindal's proposal requires simple majorities of both the house and senate, but a tax increase requires a two-thirds majority to pass.



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