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.
That’s what Lafayette Parish has obtained in Pentagon surplus since 2006.
Qualifying continues through Friday.
The political tilt of the Senate during President Barack Obama's final two years in office is likely to hinge on a handful of female contenders in tight and costly races.
A former BP executive will be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom later this month while he awaits trial on charges relating to an investigation of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
South Koreans defend ramen; special forces had failed to find James Foley; Vegas lures LGBT tourists and more national and international news for Thursday, August 21, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Friends and family will celebrate Spider's life in September.
Saints safety Jairus Byrd has rarely been so eager to hit and be hit, if only to reassure himself that his surgically repaired back is as healed as doctors believe.
Jindal privatized nearly all the LSU hospitals without waiting for federal officials to sign off on financing arrangements that rely on millions of federal Medicaid dollars.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her main Republican challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, verbally sparred as they officially signed up on the opening day of qualifying for Louisiana's November election.
Superintendent tells crowd he'd just emerged from a four-hour meeting with the attorney hired to investigate him.
The start of the three-day qualifying period for November’s elections has so far yielded 10 official bids and one new announcement from candidates seeking a seat on the school board.
It’s been just over four months since attorney Barry Domingue committed suicide the morning before he was to stand trial for a second day in the federal Curious Goods case, leaving his fellow attorney/co-defendant Daniel Stanford with a temporary mistrial and awaiting his day in court.
Candidates for Louisiana's Nov. 4 election must officially sign up for the ballot this week.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's effort to derail Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards was halted Tuesday by a state judge who said the governor's actions were harmful to parents, teachers and students.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram isn't letting a humbling start to his pro career lower his opinion of what he can still accomplish in the NFL.
Visualize Lafayette’s next great thing from 3,000 feet.
A Baton Rouge judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday against enforcing a law that prohibits anyone 70 or older from running for justice of the peace or constable.
Gov. Bobby Jindal believes the last-minute passage of a pension hike for his state police superintendent, Col. Mike Edmonson, was improperly handled, according to the governor's office.
As the courts hash out the attempts to preserve and shelve Common Core in Louisiana, a group of six state lawmakers are planning an Aug. 22 trip to Oklahoma to meet with their counterparts and strategize for the 2015 regular session.
While hopes are high for turnout this fall, a new report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate suggests that Louisiana's midterm face-offs may amount to nothing special in terms of votes cast.
The attorney hired by the Lafayette Parish School Board for a special investigation of Superintendent Pat Cooper has submitted his final report, though it may be another week before the findings are made public.
The Tea Party of Louisiana is calling Sen. David Vitter a “turncoat” for his newfound embrace of Common Core educational standards.
An annual report evaluating Gov. Bobby Jindal's privatization of Medicaid lacked important financial information and presented rosy performance reviews not corroborated by data, according to a review released Monday.
Lafayette attorney Michelle Meaux-Breaux has announced her plans to seek the Division E seat for judge in the 15th Judicial District.