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.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, March 06, 2014:
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)
Can state lawmakers find the nerve — and the votes — to neuter payday lenders?
A calm demeanor has served Gerald Boudreaux well — in his career, passion for sports and in life. And it could be just what his district needs in the state Senate.
Acadiana Catholics* react to Francis
The circumstances surrounding the Jan. 26 fire of the 18,000-square-foot home on Verot School Road seemed strange, but what's even more bizarre is the back-story behind owner Ralph Wadleigh.
Choice cuts from Acadiana's news media for Friday, Feb. 28, 2014: