House lawmakers begin talking specific tax hikes
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the House have started sifting through Gov. John Bel Edwards' tax proposals for the special legislative session.
The Ways and Means Committee started hearings Wednesday on individual tax bills, but took no votes.
Committee Chairman Neil Abramson, a New Orleans Democrat, says lawmakers want to discuss all the tax proposals and get the financial analysis of each before making decisions.
He expected the first tax votes later this week or early next week.
Among the proposals discussed would boost the cigarette tax from 86 cents per pack to $1.08, starting April 1.
Supporters say the tax hike would add more money to state coffers while also discouraging smoking.
Members of the committee expressed reticence about raising cigarette taxes again, after lawmakers just boosted the tax last year.