The special session is underway and lawmakers can now replace 1.4 billion dollars in sales taxes that are set to expire June 30th. Those expiring sales taxes are at the heart of the impending fiscal cliff that threatens to wreck healthcare and higher ed. But LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says don’t expect a deal to be reached anytime soon.
The special session is underway and lawmakers can now replace 1.4 billion dollars in sales taxes that are set to expire June 30th. Those expiring sales taxes are at the heart of the impending fiscal cliff that threatens to wreck healthcare and higher education. But LaPolitics.com Publisher Jeremy Alford says don’t expect a deal to be reached any time soon.
Speaker Taylor Barras ripped into the Governor, calling his decision to hold the speech outside of the capital a political stunt. Barras accused the Governor of resisting bipartisan offers, and being personally responsible for legislative gridlock of the regular session.
“The governor did everything possible to disrupt the process including sending a fake eviction letter to tens of thousands of seniors in nursing homes. Threats and theatrics will not cause us to raise any new taxes,” Barras said.
He went after the governor, who he says is trying to scare Louisianans into higher taxes, with a little one-liner.
“Earlier this week a viral video caused a raucous debate across America. Half of America heard ‘yanny’ and the other half heard ‘laurel.’ I think our governor heard taxes,” Barras said.
Among the political watchers, is La.Politics.com publisher, Jeremy Alford.
“You know, negotiations, if they have started in earnest, are obviously starting late. Quite frankly, inside the rails lawmakers are already talking about another special session and that is a distinct possibility,” Alford said
The session is set to run until June 4th. Another session could be called to give lawmakers time to fill the 648 million dollar budget gap.
Reports say a consensus is building around a compromise plan to renew a portion of the one-cent sales tax that was raised two years ago to plug the last fiscal cliff. But Alford says that might be easier said than done.
“There is major opposition from the black caucus against renewing the entire fifth-penny, but there have been discussions this year about a halfpenny, about a quarter penny.”