Had Louisiana’s fall elections remained at their original dates, early voting for the general election would be in the offing. That has been kicked back over a month because of the change necessitated by Hurricane Ida, but mail-in voting has been open for about a month, so now’s as good as any time to review the four constitutional amendments on the ballot now scheduled for Nov. 13. Regardless of when, these offer some easy decisions.
Amendment #1 – creates a commission consolidating two existing overseers of the state’s highly decentralized sales tax collection system that would permit centralized filing of sales taxes then distributed to state and local entities, after implementing legislation passes. This would ease greatly business compliance costs, both in administrative submissions and in dealing with multiple taxing agency jurisdictions, such as with audits. It’s a slam dunk. Yes.
Amendment #2 – sets the stage to engineer a tax swap of lower income taxes for inability to deduct federal income taxes from those. The amendment itself sets the individual rate ceiling at 4.75 percent, down from 6, and jettisons required deductibility, but a whole raft of companion legislation triggers on its passage. Under this legislation, the statutory deductibility disappears; individual rate brackets go from 6 to 4.25, 4 to 3.5, and 2 to 1.85 and could go lower the higher the growth rate of state revenues; excess itemized deductions for them disappear except for medical expenses; corporate rate brackets go from five to three by eliminating the highest ones and the rest diminish by a half point; and the corporate franchise tax goes away for the majority of filers and for those remaining still paying can go down further depending upon future state revenue growth.