Louisiana Governor Jindal proposes ending state income tax

NEW ORLEANS Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:51pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal after arriving at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans September 3, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal after arriving at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans September 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Republican Governor Bobby Jindal said on Thursday he wants to eliminate all Louisiana personal and corporate income taxes to simplify the state's tax code and make it more friendly to business.

The governor did not release details of his proposal, but his office released a statement confirming that the taxes are targets of a broader tax reform plan.

"Our goal is to eliminate all personal income tax and all corporate income tax in a revenue neutral manner," Jindal said in the statement.

He did not confirm reports that he will seek an increase in sales taxes in order to offset lost income tax revenue, but said: "We want to keep the sales tax as low and flat as possible."

Political analyst John Maginnis, who on Thursday reported in his email newsletter LaPolitics Weekly that Jindal will propose balancing the tax loss by raising the sales tax, now at 4 percent, said the strategy fits with the governor's interest in keeping a high national profile.

"Just proposing a plan on the scale being discussed would win Jindal acclaim among fiscal conservatives here and nationwide," Maginnis told Reuters.

Jindal is often mentioned for national office including the U.S. Senate and as a possible presidential candidate.

Louisiana's neighbor Texas has had no income tax for years, relying on a windfall from its rich energy resources and other forms of taxation. Other states in the region governed by Republicans are trying to copy Texas, including Oklahoma and Kansas, which have both considered lowering taxes.

But political analyst Maginnis questioned whether the Republican-majority Louisiana legislature would endorse Jindal's ambitious plan.

"Any tax increase (such as sales tax) or elimination of exemptions would require a two-thirds vote, a form of legislative approval that would require (Republican) solidarity and significant Democratic support," Maginnis said.

Jindal said his team will meet with lawmakers soon to discuss details of his tax reform plan.

"Eliminating personal income taxes will put more money back into the pockets of Louisiana families and will change a complex tax code into a more simple system that will make Louisiana more attractive to companies who want to invest here and create jobs," he said.

(Reporting by Greg McCune; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (52)
hongryhawg wrote:
I live in Louisiana and this is the first I’ve heard of this. Sure hope it’s true. It will help turn around the economic damage caused by Washington.

Jan 10, 2013 10:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TeveTorbes wrote:
So he proposes this after I’ve already made plans to move to an income tax free state? Louisiana taxes are WAY too high and I’m sick of paying buffoons in Baton Rouge thousands upon thousands of dollars each year in income taxes so they can turn right around and throw it away on Medicare fraud and on people who don’t work. Louisiana is a hell hole.

Jan 10, 2013 10:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Pinky1111 wrote:
Great idea…unlike the jack ass ery we have here in California where Jerry Brown has now made California the highest state tax in the nation and businesses are leaving in droves..

Jan 10, 2013 11:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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