Budget-balancing deal has yet to take shape in Legislature
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers remain undecided on an approach for closing next year's $1.6 billion shortfall, so the House tax committee has advanced a menu of options that could become the building blocks of a budget-balancing deal.
The Ways and Means Committee sent to the House floor a cigarette tax increase, caps on Louisiana's film tax credits, proposals to collect state sales tax from online retailers, temporary suspensions of tax breaks, closure of corporate tax loopholes and solar tax credit changes.
Now that they've given the House more than two dozen ideas, the tough part begins: finding tax changes that lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal will support.
Financing for public colleges and health care services for the poor, elderly and disabled hinge on the decisions. Those areas are most vulnerable to budget cuts.
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