State treasurer weighs in on budget reform ahead of session

State treasurer weighs in on budget reform ahead of session
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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Ahead of the new legislative session beginning in just one week, the state treasurer is weighing in on the state’s tax system and how the state saves its money.

Before being the treasurer, John Schroder spent nine years in the state House of Representatives. Now running for governor, he has more ideas on how to better use the state’s revenue.

One way is he wants the state to be more proactive against natural disasters.

“We know the hurricane’s coming,” Schroder said. “So why don’t we put away some dollars that would help us at a time when we have these horrific storms that kill us because we don’t have the cash flow to help these entities off the mats.”

He wants to see the legislature create a disaster fund to have cash on hand to more quickly respond to disasters.

There is also ongoing debate over reforming the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, or ITEP. Some believe corporations are getting to skip out on too many taxes with hundreds of millions of dollars being excused. Gov. John Bel Edwards has been pushing for locals to have more of a say in the decision of these tax breaks. One example is the Folgers facility in New Orleans causing a stir after asking to be exempt from local taxes.

“These companies don’t locate here if they’re not getting some benefit because they can go someplace else where they are. But I do support the locals having a say,” Schroder said.

He often gets asked about the proposed legislation to do away with the state income tax. He is for it to make Louisiana more attractive to people looking to move here, but there has to be a good plan to replace the revenue while many are not in favor of increasing property taxes or sales taxes.

“The mindset and the perception is we need to do it. I am happy to work on that project. It’s not something new. But you have to replace 40 cents on a dollar. That, ladies and gentlemen, will not be an easy task,” Schroder said.

Schroder also said he is not in favor of extending the temporary half-cent sales tax that rolls off at the end of next year.

The fiscal session begins April 10 where tax reform will be a main focus.


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