House lawmakers question their own staff on tax estimates
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers in the House held a first-ever hearing to review tax estimates from its nonpartisan financial analysts' office.
Several House Republicans - and the Democratic chairman of the House tax committee - say they are concerned their economists have low-balled estimates of how much sales tax changes could raise.
They called the Legislative Fiscal Office into a special hearing Friday to ask their staff to explain how they reached their conclusions.
In the contentious meeting, Ways and Means Chairman Neil Abramson said he worried numbers built into the estimates were arbitrarily picked.
Legislative Fiscal Officer John Carpenter defended his two economists, saying they had years of experience.
Some House lawmakers hope the sales tax proposals could generate more money than currently projected, to keep them from voting for more taxes.