A state House panel has advanced a temporary sales tax measure that would mean about $370 million toward the state’s looming fiscal cliff — the first, and only thus far, significant movement of legislation in the special session that ends in just over a week.
The House Ways & Means Committee voted 11-6, by near party line with most Democrats against and Republicans in support, to advance House Bill 27 to the full House for consideration.
The bill, sponsored by House Republican Delegation Chair Lance Harris, would temporarily extend a third of a sales tax hike set to expire June 30 through 2023 and allow state sales taxes to be collected on some purchases previously exempt or partially exempt.
"The temporary taxes are falling off the books," Harris, R-Alexandria, said during Thursday’s hearing on HB27. "That brings us here today — plain and simple."
The passage of the bill came after the panel rejected a measure backed by Gov. John Bel Edwards and members of the Legislative Black Caucus that would have permanently extended half of the expiring one-cent sales tax hike adopted in 2016.
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