While proposals to increase taxes may be dead on arrival when reaching Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk, the administration seems willing to at least review fee changes this session, based on a request for comment by LaPolitics.
But how lawmakers package them will determine how Jindal comes down on the issue. That is, the governor is neither opening the door for fees, nor is he shutting down related talks.
“We will review any fee increase proposal to determine if they are truly fees to pay for services rendered and not taxes by a different name,” said Jindal spokesperson Shannon Bates Dirmann.
This could be a very small — maybe tiny — opening for state departments and agencies that are facing at least 15 percent reductions across the board next fiscal year.
The latest multi-year revenue forecast has many thinking longterm. The 2015-2016 fiscal year will face a $1.6 billion shortfall, at the very least, with the following three fiscal years seeing budget shortfalls ranging between $1.4 billion and $1.8 billion each, based on no changes in the economy and incoming revenue streams.