A constitutional amendment that centralizes sales tax collection in Louisiana will not have a significant effect on local jobs that contribute to sales tax collection, officials said.
Referring to this and other amendment in the Nov. 13 poll as “the way forward for Louisiana,” State Representative Gerald “Beau” Beaullieu, R-New Iberia, as well as Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry noted how the measure – Amendment No.1 on the upcoming ballot – is essential for Louisiana to be competitive with other states and necessary in today’s economy.
The measure, which Waguespack says has encountered no organized opposition, would dramatically change the way local sales taxes are collected in Louisiana by centralizing them instead of handing them over to 55 local collectors statewide.
Speaking at One Acadiana’s Ballots over Breakfast event on Wednesday, Waguespack noted how the measure, if successful with voters’ approval, would create an eight-member commission that would still rely on these local collectors in the new. system. The state would collect sales taxes and then distribute the appropriate amount to the appropriate tax entity.
But if the measure fails, it would ultimately lead to job losses in the private sector.
“Local jobs are important, but let’s be frank: For too long Louisiana has depended on good government jobs,” Waguespack said. “Our biggest problem isn’t, ‘How can we better protect government jobs in Louisiana?’ Our biggest problem is when you drive down every main street that was once filled with small businesses that no longer exist or, if they’re there, they’re scratching. Amendment 1 will give these private sector jobs a better chance of survival. “
If voters approve the measure, it would create a commission to establish a system similar to that used in 47 other states. The National and Local Commission for Streamlined Sales and Use Taxes would have half of its members appointed by the Governor, Secretary of Revenue, Speaker of the House and Speaker of the Senate and the remainder appointed by school boards, l sheriff’s association, the association of police juries and the Louisiana Municipal Association. .
It’s an idea that was pitched for years in Baton Rouge, with some of the earliest arguments against it being that it would cut local sales tax collection jobs. Those jobs will always be needed, Beallieu said.
“It was a big part of the negotiations as we went through it,” Beaullieu said. “Our local collectors charge a fee to the municipalities below them. These fees will still be in place. There will always be a role for this local collector. These dollars are going to arrive at the school board, and they are still going to have to distribute them. There will be no jobs that will disappear just because of this, and the income they generate will still be there.
Beaullieu and Waguespack, as well as Steven Procopio of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, spoke about the other amendments on the ballot, originally scheduled for October 9 before being pushed back. Amendment 2 would amend the state tax code, including capping personal income tax at 4.75% and eliminating the franchise tax on the first $ 300,000 of taxable capital.
Amendment 3 allows certain dike districts to levy an annual tax for certain purposes, while Amendment 4 would increase the amount of money the governor is allowed to reduce from 5% to 10%.
One Acadiana supports all four amendments.