File this one under “OMG WTF LOL”.
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, or LABI, is one of the gret stet’s most power lobbies. From the tactical end, they control 4 major PAC’s (Ingeniously named NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, and…you guessed it, WEST) that allow them to direct at least $20k of contributions to any single candidate in any race. But more importantly, their political weight works behind the scenes to secure some of the most favorable anti-environmental, economically-regressive policies you can buy. This isn’t business. It’s crony capitalism. But we digress.
Anyway, LABI has been a big Jindal ally on some of his biggest gambits, including education “reform”, retirement reform, and health care privatization. On the Sales tax tip, however, they’re OUT like the slow kid in dodge ball:
Quite a few eyebrows raised in the business community recently when Governor Jindal’s Executive Counsel, Tim Barfield, responded to a question about winners and losers under the governor’s tax swap plan. Barfield, one of the managers of the issue for the governor, said that individuals would pay less and businesses would pay more.
By the time Mr. Barfield testified before the Ways and Means Committee on March 26, he estimated the impact at $500 million. That number is probably higher today than in 2011 and undoubtedly will go up significantly in the future.
A tax increase approaching a half-billion dollars levied on the business community at large definitely flies in the face of that principal goal of the organization for 2013.
LABI’s policy is clear: If the tax swap proposal is introduced as a net increase in business taxes or is amended during the legislative process to take that form, LABI will oppose it.
Swell. Bobby certainly should give these guys, his own teammates here on team “fuck the poor” a little deference, right? Nope:
The governor said the only people who like the current tax system are “lawyers, lobbyists and the people who benefit from loopholes.” He pointed to a study released Tuesday by two think tanks — the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and the Beacon Hill Institute — that concluded the tax proposal would generate an average of $910 in extra cash for the state’s households and create nearly 12,000 new jobs within four years.
“This is good for Louisiana families and Louisiana businesses,” Jindal said.
Yessir, that’s what they call in baseball a “brush-back” pitch from the Governor.
Oh, and as usual, the oil boys got what they want and they’re cool. Preserve their egregious exemptions and they’re back to crushing Louisiana’s coast.
The Jindal administration also distributed a news release from the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association regarding an agreement on severance tax incentives and sales tax incentives affecting the oil and gas industry.
LOGA’s president, Don Briggs, said the administration pledged to keep the oil and gas natural gas service sector exempt from a state sales tax on services.