LABI holds annual meeting, gets tax proposal briefing

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry held its annual meeting at the Crowne Plaza Tuesday. Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield spoke to the group during a morning forum. The topic was well received by LABI; Dumping Louisiana's corporate income tax. It was like a minister preaching to the choir.

"One of the key drivers for us here is the best way to life people out of poverty is to get them an opportunity to get a job," Barfield said.

Last week the Jindal administration floated a trial balloon on the tax plan that includes scrapping the state income tax code. A code that Barfield says has 468 exemptions; way too many says the revenue secretary. The loss in revenue would be offset by a raise in the state sales taxes.

"It's an interesting prospect," says Senator Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas. "I'm very concerned about the impact it would have on poor people, particularly on retirees. Adding the sales tax to those people who are on a low, fixed income gives us course to concern. I'm wanting to see the details I hope that those questions can be answered."

Secretary Barfield admits many people are concerned about the sacred cow known as the homestead exemption on property tax. "At this point while there has been a lot of discussion behind the scenes about property taxes, at this point property taxes have not really been chosen as the avenue to offset any of the revenue that we need to get," says Barfield. "There seems to be a lot of push back from stake holders about any openings in changes to the property tax side."

The Jindal administration plans to get details about the plan to legislators before the start of the session which is set for noon April 8th.

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