League of Women Voters opposes sales tax hike

The non-partisan group says Gov. John Bel Edwards’ call for a hike in the state sales tax is regressive and unfair to the poor.

The non-partisan League of Women Voters of Louisiana announced Tuesday its opposition to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ call for raising the state sales tax to help cover a projected $1.9 billion budget deficit in the coming fiscal year:

After considering the various proposals for correcting the state’s budget deficit, the LWV of Louisiana opposes an increase in the sales tax.

An increase in sales tax is considered a regressive tax because it is not fair and equitable. By cutting into purchasing power it will impact the minimum wage earners and families living near or below the poverty line the hardest. Given the poverty level in Louisiana this will only dig the hole deeper. Also there is no guarantee that a temporary sales tax will not be extended. The uncertainty of temporary taxes affects both personal and business financial planning.

The LWV of Louisiana believes our taxes should be broad-based with minimal tax preferences and supports income as the major tax base.

We urge all citizens to contact their legislators and make known their opinions on this important issue.

Edwards has called a special fiscal session be convened next month to address the budget ahead of the regular session commencing in March.