Legislator defers bill to repeal state's business inventory tax

Legislator defers bill to repeal State Business Inventory tax

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A packed committee room waited two hours for a vote toward repealing the state's business inventory tax.  Many went home disappointed.

Sen. Robert Adley, the author of Senate Bill 85, says he's not ready to present it and that the bill needs some changes.

"To get a bill in here by substitute and all of the amendments that we needed for this afternoon was just impossible," said Sen. Adley, R-Benton.

Senate President John Alario sat in Monday's committee meeting.  He supports the bill, saying it should be one way to help close the $1.6 billion deficit.

"This is one of the options. There are many options on the table. This one would only get us there about a third of the way we need to go. We need to start somewhere and this is a good one to start with," said Sen. Alario, R-Westwego.

Through the inventory tax, businesses last year qualified for hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds from the state. Gov. Jindal calls it "corporate welfare."

Supporters of Sen. Adley's bill want to cut those tax breaks and keep the money in the state treasury.

According to estimates, the bill could save state government over $450 million, but unless other steps are taken, it could cost local governments about $550 million.

"As we have filed a lot of these placeholders to try to get us out of this deficit that we find ourselves in, and then we get here and find out how complicated it is to put together those fiscal notes that is just critical to this process," said Sen. Adley.

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