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Jindal continues to call for revenue neutral budget

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BATON ROUGE - At an informal meeting with reporters on Friday before leaving the state, Governor Bobby Jindal evaded specific questions about about tax credit rollbacks and repeated a general statement he gave Thursday after the state House approved millions of dollars in tax changes.

"Any tax credit where you exceed someone's liability, where the government is paying above and beyond what they're paying in taxes, is government spending that should be looked at," Jindal said Friday.

On Thursday the state House of Representatives voted for $670 million in revenue increases. Lawmakers set a goal to raise more than $900 million to curb deep cuts to higher education and health care, but fell short of their goal.

Jindal seemed optimistic about the increases on Friday, but said some bills would need to be offset with revenue decreases. Jindal has vowed to veto the budget if it isn't "revenue neutral."

The governor wants tax increases, like the 32-cent tax incresae to cigarettes, to be offset with more tax credits. However, he's made exceptions to some tax credit rollbacks for big companies, such as the inventory tax credit. In those cases he considers such rollbacks to be a spending cut because the companies receive more money in reimbursements than what they actually pay in taxes.

Some legislators are vowing to return for a special session in order to override any veto from Jindal's office.

The revenue increases will make their way through the House Appropriations Committee on Monday, which will then send the budget to the House floor for final approval before it heads to the Senate.

Jindal is the featured speaker for Friday's Reagan Day Dinner at the Rutherford County GOP in Tennessee.

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