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House rejects sales tax bill to patch budget

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BATON ROUGE - Efforts to renew part of an expiring sales tax to help patch a nearly $1 billion budget hole have failed in the Louisiana House, as lawmakers seem unable to reach a compromise on taxes in the special session.
 
Only 38 House lawmakers on Wednesday night voted for the proposal by Republican Rep. Stephen Dwight. It needed 70 votes to pass.
 
The proposal would temporarily renew one-quarter of an expiring 1 percent sales tax and temporarily eliminate some sales tax breaks, to raise nearly $300 million a year.
 
Dwight's bill was supported by GOP House leaders, but it lacked enough Republican or Democratic votes to pass. Democrats, particularly the Black Caucus, favor income tax changes.
 
The special session must end March 7. It's unclear if a deal to replace temporary taxes can be reached.

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