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Lawmaker calls proposed tax policy 'worst ever'

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BATON ROUGE - Some lawmakers are calling a tax bill that passed through the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday as some of the worst tax policy ever.

The tax hike would mainly impact wealthy people when they file their state return. It will only take effect if the state thinks it needs money, and go away after two years, at which point the state will reimburse taxpayers everything they paid.

"Contingent revenue back on REC and the taxpayers don't know and you might get all this money back later; It's just bad policy," Rep. Julie Stokes (R-Kenner) says.

The hike is part of the governor's plan to protect TOPS and hospitals, but the whole part about it being temporary with reimbursement was actually proposed by one of John Bel Edwards' biggest rivals.

"We are trying to bridge the gap between now and comprehensive fiscal reform," Rep. Neil Abramson (D-New Orleans). "This bill is tied to that. That's why it sunsets and that's why there's a recoupment."

If the tax is activated under its current posture, then it will end in 2018. The same year, several other taxes like the 1% sales tax are scheduled to end. Some believe the state is headed straight for a fiscal cliff and that lawmakers may have to raise more taxes next year to avoid it.

The special session ends in 8 days.


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