New laws affecting smokers, businesses effective Wednesday

New laws affecting smokers, businesses effective Wednesday

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - At B-Quik Convenience Store on Perkins Rd., clerk Briana Falcon has a message for smokers. Falcon is warning B-Quik customers of the 50 cent tax hike on a pack of cigarettes beginning Wednesday.

"I already bought a carton, trying to stock up on them now before they go up because that's going to be $60 a carton," said Falcon.

The new tax will raise $106 million. It's one of 11 new tax measures in the state's $25 billion budget to fund higher education and healthcare.

July 1 also means a tough break for Hollywood South and the business lobby. Movie credits will officially be capped at $180 million per year while a 20 percent across the board reduction kicks-in for tax credits and rebates affecting businesses.

"The governor had a change of pace in his eighth year. For eight years, he's been a champion of business. This time around, he made a lot of enemies in the business community," said Jim Engster, host of "The Jim Engster Show" and a 9News political analyst.

New laws rolling back the state inventory tax and phasing out solar tax credits also begin Wednesday.

So does a new law to cut out-of-state service contracts. The measure is backed by the state treasurer's office.

"Every dollar we spend on a consultant is a dollar less we have to spend on our universities, on our roads," said John Kennedy, LA State Treasurer.

Also effective Wednesday, a new law from the 2014 legislative session.

Louisiana drivers must now renew their license every six years, not four.

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