Louisiana raked in the needed $200 million from its amnesty period for delinquent taxpayers to keep the state's operating budget balanced, the revenue department announced Monday.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana raked in the needed $200 million from its amnesty period for delinquent taxpayers to keep the state's operating budget balanced, the revenue department announced Monday.
The success of the program, which stopped taking applications last week, will keep lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal from scrambling in the second half of the 2013-14 fiscal year to rework the state's $25.4 billion budget.
"Based on applications and payments processed as of this morning, we have met the $200 million goal," Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield said in a statement Monday.
Lawmakers used the money anticipated to be collected in back-owed taxes to pay for health care services for the poor, elderly and disabled in Louisiana's Medicaid program. If the amnesty collections hadn't reached that mark, the budget hole would have been large, because the amnesty dollars were used to draw down federal Medicaid matching money.
Not only will the state's budget stay on track, but lawmakers and the Jindal administration will have additional money to spend. The revenue department expects to surpass $200 million in collections of back-owed taxes.
"We expect that number to grow as we receive and process applications and payments submitted in the final days and hours of the amnesty program," Barfield said.
From September until Friday, delinquent taxpayers were able to get caught up on their tax bills without any penalties and with only half the interest charges they would have otherwise owed on the debt.
The program covered most taxes administered by the Department of Revenue.
The department didn't release detailed figures, instead focusing solely on the good news for the state's budget and indicating that the tally of how much was paid wasn't yet complete.
Before the amnesty period, 443,000 taxpayers owed $1.4 billion in unpaid taxes, while another 3,000 businesses or wealthy individuals owed $1.1 billion and were involved in audits or litigation with the Department of Revenue. Both groups were eligible for amnesty.
The state will offer two additional one-month amnesty periods in 2014 and 2015, but with less generous terms. Louisiana has offered similar programs five other times, the most recent in 2001 and 2009.
The last amnesty program brought in $483 million from more than 40,000 delinquent taxpayers, with 85 percent of that coming from 600 taxpayers seeking to settle outstanding audit issues or lawsuits with the department.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ten departing CEOs rake in $430 million; profile of FSU gunman emerges; Buffalo's weather woes and more national and international news for Friday, November 21, 2014.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
Pat Cooper is contesting his termination by the LPSB, filing a petition Tuesday that calls the recent decision “arbitrary and capricious.”
A look at the numbers highlights the challenge facing Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu as she tries to win a fourth term in a Dec. 6 runoff against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.
A national animal rights group has been rebuffed by a Baton Rouge district court judge, although the group might still get its day in court.
The administration says public college campuses won't be on the chopping block.
The legendary musician is performing at a $1,000-per-person fundraiser Dec. 1 in New Orleans.
Old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments and other unclaimed money is sent to the state when a business cannot locate someone.