Dawn Starns, Louisiana state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, released the following statement this morning concerning legislation to temporarily raise taxes on small businesses in order to offset the state’s budget shortfall:
“The bottom line is that Louisiana is broke. We’re $1 billion in the hole. We always say we want legislators to cut spending before they start talking about raising taxes, and that’s what they’ve done. Legislators have agreed to cut spending, so now they’re looking at raising taxes.
“The legislature is talking about temporarily lifting the utilities tax exemption on businesses and increasing the sales tax by 1 cent to 2 cents on the dollar.
“Our members don’t like either option. When you raise taxes on small businesses, you make it harder for them to compete, and you make it harder for them to grow and create jobs.
“Leadership promises that the increase in the sales tax is a temporary measure to help Louisiana climb out of this financial hole. On behalf of our 4,000 members and their employees and their families, NFIB will hold the governor and legislature accountable for this historic tax increase.
“Once we’re out of debt and back on track, the governor and legislature may be tempted to keep the utility tax and higher sales tax in place in order to fund pet projects, but that’s not going to fly.
“If these tax increases are passed as temporary, Louisiana’s small business owners expect them to be temporary.”