Lawmakers urged to raise state sales tax
BATON ROUGE - State lawmakers were told to face the music and raise the sales tax Wednesday. LSU professor Jim Richardson said it's one of the only ways to raise money immediately.
Lawmakers have till June to raise $700-$750 million. Otherwise Medicaid, public schools and state colleges could run out of money.
"You're talking about shutting down things and laying people off," said Richardson.
The economist recommends raising the state's four percent sales tax by as much as one percent.
This would up the price on everyday items and services like clothing, automobiles and dining out.
The state's constitution does exempt common things from sales tax like groceries, utilities, prescription drugs and gasoline. But local taxes do often apply to those things.
Other options include cutting government spending, narrowing income tax brackets and eliminating tax exemptions.
Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to release his full budget plan next month. Lawmakers will likely decide on a tax increase in February or March.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
'Fans for the Elderly' aims to keep residents cool
Police release video of officers beaten in New Orleans brawl
Permanent injunction wanted for proposed Ascension Parish development
Residents praising NOPD response following weekend brawl on Bourbon Street
LSU caretakers respond to Mike the Tiger pouncing video
LSU Track star Aleia Hobbs happy she could represent her home state...
14-year-old CoCo Gauff wants to be the next star in pro tennis
Pete Jenkins reflects on 2017 season
Temeka Johnson basketball camp about more than the game
Saints looking to fill backfield void during Ingram's 4-game absence