Senators back inventory tax repeal in budget-balancing plan
BATON ROUGE - Ignoring the outcry of local government leaders, senators moved ahead with the cornerstone of a budget-balancing package of tax changes under negotiation by legislative leaders.
The Senate Finance Committee voted 9-1 Wednesday for a proposal by Sen. Robert Adley to repeal the local property tax charged on inventory. The maneuver would save the state more than $500 million a year that it gives businesses in tax credits to offset the expense.
Local school boards, sheriffs and municipalities that rely on the property tax money say losing it could force them to shutter services.
Senators insisted they would find ways to help offset the lost revenue to local governments. They said they needed to advance the bill to keep negotiations moving with the House on closing a $1.6 billion budget shortfall.