Legislators struggled to approve a budget this year and the state’s financial woes will only look worse next year. That’s because one-point-two billion dollars in temporary taxes will expire in July 2018. Publisher of Lapolitics.com, Jeremy Alford, says state lawmakers face more difficult decisions.
"You either replace that lost revenue or make as much in cuts, which would be a huge, huge cut to the budget or they figure out a mix of those two strategies," Alford said.
It’s expected the governor will call a special session early next year, so legislators can address the fiscal cliff. Alford says the governor could propose ideas recommended by a task force that studied the state’s tax code, but that doesn’t mean the legislature will agree with those proposals.
"You're seeing the House really dig in on spending cuts and trying to reserve money, where as the Senate and administration have asked for new revenue," Alford said.
A big portion of the temporary taxes that will expire next year is the additional penny put on the state sales tax last year by legislators to address a massive budget shortfall. Alford says the easiest thing for lawmakers to do is to keep the fifth sales tax penny on the books.
"That's probably what lawmakers are going to end up looking at, if we've learned anything, the path of least resistance is a well traveled path in the Louisiana legislature," Alford said.