LA Chemical Association files lawsuit aimed at constitutionality of utility tax measure
Posted on 7/1/2015 6:09:00 PM.
Michelle Southern reporting.
The Louisiana Chemical Association filed a lawsuit challenging a measure passed in the last session which would impose a 1 percent sales tax on business utilities and natural gas. HCR 8 is a temporary suspension of a 1 cent sales tax exemption on services expected to hit chemical plants hardest.

LCA spokesman Rob Landry says it was passed unconstitutionally.

"We feel to pass a tax hike it requires a 2/3 vote in the House," said Landry. "There were two different votes taken on the floor and neither one got the magic number of 70."

The measure, which went into effect Wednesday, raises more than 100 million dollars and was enacted to balance the state's budget. 

Landry says their plants depend heavily on purchased power and natural gas to generate steam, heat and electricity.

"If we find that in Louisiana we're taxed more heavily on that and become non-competitive it makes other states more attractive to our business," said Landry.

Landry says the Louisiana Constitution says tax measures must pass both houses by a two-thirds vote and this measure fell short of 70 "yeas" two times. 

He says they made a major campaign to repeal utility taxes on natural gas in 2008 and since then the plants have seen major growth.

"And that's not the only reason but it is a big reason that you've seen such a resurgence and the growth of the industry in the state since then," said Landry. "We'd like to get back to making our business climate as warm as possible."
Louisiana Chemical Association

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