Jindal discusses tax plan in Lake Charles - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Jindal discusses tax plan in Lake Charles


The tax plan that would eliminate personal and corporate income tax in the state is a hot topic as the Legislature prepares to open up the 2013 session.
Governor Bobby Jindal, at the helm of that plan, spoke to the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana in Lake Charles on Monday.   

"This is the next, best, single most important thing we can do to grow our economy and to create good paying jobs throughout the state," Jindal said.  

The governor, along with Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, made their case as to why the current tax plan doesn't work and why they think reform is the answer. 

"Our tax code is unstable and unfair," Jindal said. "The reality is that there are 468 loopholes written in the tax code today ... we're collecting money from Louisiana families and using it to pay companies, not to pay corporate income tax."

The details of the governor's plan are being picked through by the House Ways and Means Committee in Baton Rouge.
Still, Jindal touts six major benefits of the plan, including: Creating a state ideal to start business, closing loopholes, giving more control to taxpayers, protecting the necessities of life, creating an environment where everybody pays their fair share and stabilizing funding for government programs. 

"We want a fair tax code," Jindal said. "We want to get rid of over 200 loopholes, exemptions in the current tax code and make sure that folks are paying their fare share but also make sure we're competing with other states like Texas and Florida and other states that don't have an income tax," he said. 

With an increase in sales tax, citizens across the state and some legislators have their concerns about the plan.

State Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish, R-Jennings, on Thursday, filed a bill that would eliminate income tax over a 10-year period beginning in 2014. He said there are a few differences between his plan and the plan proposed by the governor. 

"My plan is a phase out," said Morrish. "You can't just get rid of income tax overnight. But I think it is a good conversation we're having to eliminate income tax in the state."

In addition to the phase out, another difference in Morrish's bill is that he doesn't name a specific replacement for the revenue that would be lost by eliminating income tax. 

"Governor Jindal has said the sales tax will make up for the lost revenue, I say the legislature will have to come up with things as the 10 years progress," said Morrish.

Jindal said he's optimistic that his proposal will be approved by lawmakers.

"We got elected to do the big things ... every day that I'm privileged enough to be governor, we're going to work hard to change our state, attract investment and attract jobs," Jindal said.

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