Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement after the House Ways and Means Committee blocked legislation that would provide a tax cut for 90 percent of individual income tax filers in Louisiana.  The legislation, HB 284 by Rep. Rob Shadoin, was a piece of Gov. Edwards’ comprehensive tax reform package. Under this legislation, the individual income tax rates would be reduced from 2 percent, 4 percent and 6 percent to 1 percent, 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively.  The bills considered by the committee today were based on recommendations from the bipartisan task force created by the legislature to reform Louisiana's tax structure.

“It is disappointing that a small group of members on the House Ways and Means Committee would block a tax cut for 90 percent of individual tax filers in Louisiana, but refused to ask the 80 percent of corporations that pay absolutely nothing in state income taxes to pay their fair share,” said Gov. Edwards. “That is a severe case of misplaced priorities and a disservice to the people of Louisiana. The hard working people of Louisiana don’t have high-priced lobbyists in the legislature; that’s our job, but it appears that some members of this committee have forgotten that.”

According to the Louisiana Department of Revenue, 80 percent of corporations in Louisiana that file state income taxes paid absolutely nothing in Fiscal Year 2015. Gov. Edwards proposed a plan, which was amended in committee, that asked only those corporations who paid nothing to contribute to Louisiana’s economy. As part of that overall plan, Gov. Edwards also proposed reducing Louisiana’s individual income tax rates, giving 90 percent of income tax filers a tax cut.

According to a Louisiana Budget Project analysis, the proposal, HB 284, would provide a net tax cut to 95 percent of Louisiana families. The largest effective tax cut would go to the middle 20 percent of taxpayers - households earning between $36,000 and $56,000 per year. The analysis is available by clicking here.