"What we're seeing is a dangerous game of political chicken, with citizens stuck in the middle."
The Council for a Better Louisiana, a Baton Rouge-based, non-partisan, good-government group, is urging the Legislature to back off from repealing the state's personal and corporate income taxes, according to The Times-Picayune. CABL President/CEO Barry Erwin asked lawmakers on the Thursday to "put the brakes on this discussion and take a reality check for a moment," arguing the nearly $3 billion decline in revenue would negatively impact higher education, public safety and health care.
The Senate and House appear split on the bill by Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Livonia. As amended in the Senate, the bill would merely create a commission to study the ramifications of repealing the income taxes; the House, meanwhile, is discussing reinserting language in that specifies a timetable for phasing out the taxes.
"What we're seeing is a dangerous game of political chicken, with citizens stuck in the middle," Erwin told lawmakers, reading a prepared statement. "They're being led to believe we can quit paying most taxes and somehow everything will be better, with little discussion about what it means for the future of our state and the impact on our children. We should aspire to greatness, not cheapness. The current political rhetoric does a disservice to our people and should stop. Now."