Bills to lessen business tax breaks still alive
BATON ROUGE - Two tax bills that could raise more than $70 million for next year's budget will be considered by the Louisiana House. They are likely the last proposals that could win final passage in the special session to help lessen budget cuts.
The measures would scale back some property tax breaks given to businesses. The House Ways and Means Committee approved both bills Monday, sending them to the full House for consideration.
One proposal would place new limits on a tax credit businesses get for paying property taxes on their inventory - if those companies also get an exemption from paying local property taxes on their facilities. The change would impact large manufacturers, like chemical plants.
The other proposal would rework the inventory tax credit to lessen its cost to the state.
Slated for more money in next year's budget are the safety-net hospitals for the poor, the TOPS college tuition program, college campuses, the LSU medical schools and K-12 public and private schools.
The proposal backed Monday by the Appropriations Committee would give TOPS one-third of the new money. TOPS students would get 70 percent of their tuition costs covered.
The safety-net hospitals would receive nearly $51 million, the amount sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration - but less than the hospital operators want.
Cuts still would fall across education, health and public safety programs.