Professor of Economics & Director of the Murphy Institute, Tulane University
It was not quite Cajun boudin being prepared in Baton Rouge this winter and spring, but the sausage being concocted in the Louisiana Legislature was equally spicy. With low oil prices and years of “creative” budgets under Governor Bobby Jindal, the new Governor, John Bel Edwards, and the Legislature faced an initial budget shortfall of roughly 16 percent of the state general fund for the next fiscal year. Three separate legislative sessions later, they did reach a balanced budget, although with less revenue than the Governor had wanted. The revenue raisers included a dizzying array of sales tax changes that only temporarily limited exemptions, temporary limits on the refundability of business credits, and various other “haircuts” for business. Not exactly the purest of tax reforms.
But buried in this avalanche of legislation were some serious reforms of the Louisiana corporate tax along the lines that my colleagues and I had recommended to the Legislature last year.