LBP Director, Edward Ashworth was featured in the New Orleans Times Picayune op ed section on Thursday November 26, 2009. In the article, Mr. Ashworth argues that the state needs to take a more balanced approach to solve its estimated $2 billion budget shortfall. Rather than relying exclusively on spending cuts, the state needs to consider new sources of revenue.
Restructuring the tax system would not only provide additional revenues for the state but also would make the system more equitable. According to a recent nationwide study by the Washington DC-based Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, in Louisiana, families making under $15,000 a year pay 10.4 percent of their income in state and local taxes; those making between $29,000 and $46,000 pay 9.9 percent; and the richest 1 percent of households−with average income just over $1 million− pay just 5.7 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
Another major issue is Louisiana’s tax exemptions, projected in this year’s budget to cost the state $6.5 billion in lost revenue. Some of these exemptions serve a beneficial purpose, while others are questionable.  All need to be closely examined.
Read more on fixing Louisiana’s unfair, unbalanced taxing system and making sure that everything is on the table for reform in Louisiana, during these trying economic times.