How Did Louisiana End Up With $300 Million Extra? [VIDEO]
With the report from State Treasurer John Schroder that - despite dire warnings of financial doom from Governor John bel Edwards - the state of Louisiana has a budget surplus of about $300 million, 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright explains to morning show co-host Erin McCarty who got it "so wrong."
It was Edwards, who predicted the now famous "fiscal cliff" if Louisiana lawmakers failed to increase the state sales tax, which they did (in a special legislative session) by .45%. This increase came despite repeated cries from local representatives Alan Seabaugh, Dodie Horton and Raymond Crews that taking more money from taxpayers was unnecessary and that the governor's claims of financial doom were all a political ploy.
Officials can't say yet why revenue collections exceeded expectations, but economists have said oil and gas revenues have been higher than expected. The corporate income tax collection forecast was also very conservative, Alario said.
Several changes to corporate tax breaks have been made over the past few years. State economist Greg Albrecht, who determines the state revenue forecast, has said he is having hard time predicting what those collections might be from year to year, so much so that he is trying to be measured with his projections.
A fairly significant change to state income tax collections also took place at the end of the most recent budget cycle. An federal income tax cut Congress and President Donald Trump approved was supposed to make state income tax collections higher.