BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The Louisiana House spurned a more than $360 million sales tax renewal that could partially plug a budget gap looming in five weeks.
Rejection of the measure Friday raised questions about whether lawmakers can reach a tax deal to avoid deep cuts to education, health care and public safety programs in the financial year starting July 1.
House GOP leader Lance Harris couldn’t cobble together enough votes from Republicans and Democrats for his proposal.
Lawmakers voted 63-38 for the measure. It needed 70 votes.
HB27 fails to pass. House and Senate will go back to the drawing board on Monday
— Dannielle Garcia (@Dannielle_Garci) May 25, 2018
Harris’ bill would renew one-third of an expiring 1 percent sales tax, eliminate some sales tax breaks and continue sales tax charges on business utilities for another five years.
Harris can seek another vote. The special session must end June 4.