Edwards defends tax break changes, says program is generous
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards defended his changes to Louisiana's major industrial tax break program, telling hundreds of business leaders that the state remains generous and competitive to industry.
The Democratic governor's comments came Thursday at an all-day business summit Edwards called. He encouraged business leaders to "stay engaged" and offer ideas to his administration.
But Edwards also refused to roll back limits enacted on the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, which provides property tax breaks up to 10 years for manufacturers.
The governor limited the program to an 80 percent tax break, added local governing authority sign-off for exemptions and required businesses to create or retain jobs with the projects seeking tax breaks.
The changes have provoked criticism from some business groups.
Edwards says he'd consider tweaks to streamline the process.