A recent analysis of the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s Corporate Income and Franchise Tax and Individual Income Tax credits finds such credits extended as an incentive to lure corporations and industries into the state result in a major reduction in overall revenue (read, tax) collection by the state. Moreover, because state law does not require agencies that administer such credits and exemptions to track and report their return on investment, it’s difficult to determine the economic benefit to the state accrued by such credits.
In its executive summary of the 10-page report, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office provides an overview of the programs and their impact on revenue:
As of February 2011, the state has a total of 464 tax credits and other exemptions that were enacted by individual statutes.
The amount of CIFT credits claimed during tax years 2005 through 2010 resulted in a tax liability reduction of approximately $3 billion out of a total tax liability of $5.4 billion, an average revenue loss of approximately 55% due to CIFT credits. The amount of IIT credits claimed during tax years 2005 through 2010 resulted in a tax liability reduction of approximately $1.8 billion out of a total tax liability of $16.5 billion, an average revenue loss of approximately 11% due to IIT credits. This money may have been eligible for collection as tax revenue by LDR if these tax credits did not exist.
While determining the average amount of state revenue lost due to CIFT credits and IIT credits, we found that state law does not require agencies that administer tax credits and other exemptions to track and report their return on investment. As a result, it is difficult to determine the overall impact of CIFT and IIT tax credits on Louisiana. In addition, we identified four CIFT credits where only a few entities claimed a significant portion (greater than 50%) of the tax credit.
The Louisiana Budget Project, an offshoot of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations that tracks the impact of state fiscal and tax policy on Louisiana’s poor population, issued a statement on the Legislative Auditor’s analysis on Monday:
The report confirms that Louisiana’s tax code is riddled with costly loopholes benefitting a few big, profitable corporations at the expense of job-creating investments in education, transportation, public safety and other building blocks of a strong economy. We are heartened by Governor Jindal’s recent statement in support of ending subsidies and loopholes in the tax code. The Legislature should follow Governor Jindal’s lead by evaluating corporate tax breaks based on merit, and eliminate those that don’t produce results.
MAY 23 Here's a story in the Picayune about some statistics that must come as a blow to folks who believe that any private school can do a better job of educating kids than any public school: Danielle Dreilinger reports that only 30 percent of the voucher kids are passing. That's less than half of the state wide average, she says. It's an interesting statistic because most of the schools (if not all) taking voucher kids have never had their students' standardized test scores released to the public before.
MAY 23 Stephen Sabludowsky blogs on Bayou Buzz about auditor requests here. Recently the state GOP started crowing about a request from the Legislative Auditor, claiming they were being targeted because of their anti-tax stance. (Uh, your what?) Denial and hyperbole aside, the state Democratic party blew holes in that theory with an email announcing they'd received the same request, Sabludowsky writes here.
MAY 23 Jim Brown blogs about the senate race in this post. He says that, given Bobby Jindal's "lack of traction" on the national stage, it might make more sense for the governor to consider running against Mary Landrieu for the senate seat. Since Tim Teeple left the Cassidy team, it makes sense he might land on a Jindal for Senate team, Brown opines.
MAY 23 In this Louisiana Voice post, blogger Tom Aswell writes of rumors that his nemesis, state Superintendent of Education John White, may be soon departing Louisiana for a federal post. It's hard to believe, given his performance, Aswell says, but stranger things have happened. An anti-White BESE member says that, if true, White is quitting before he can be fired.
MAY 23 In this post on American Zombie, blogger Jason Berry writes about the Mother's Day shooting. Mayor Landrieu said that "this is not who we are," but the fact is, this is New Orleans, Berry writes. The violence infused in the city is the result of a culture created by "sins of omission or sins of commission," Berry writes. It's not a problem that can be solved by legislating, policing, praying or publicizing, he says: Someone's got to understand what's happening first.
MAY 23 This post in the Westside Journal tells us what Port Allen Mayor Deedy has been up to lately: vetoing ordinances, apparently. This story is most interesting, however, when it delves into a petition that has been circulating around the city lately. It accuses the former mayor of a lot of nasty things; the former mayor says it is full of lies and "broken syntax" which may be a larger offense in his eyes.
MAY 23 This editorial posted in The Advocate is a bit confusing. The writing is poor - definitely not up to the usual editorial writing standard there - and the point is hard to grasp. Apparently, the writer is saying that privatization of state efforts is OK, as long as there is oversight and transparency, but Jindal's not good at that, and the legislature shouldn't over-react. Okey Dokey. Can't they get one of them Pulitzer-winning people to write an editorial?
MAY 23 This post on The Lens gives you links to a new Google Earth tool that allows you to see any spot on earth transform over the past 30 years. Bob Marshall, who covers the coast for the paper, says that in the case of Louisiana's coastline, it's possibly something you don't want to see, because it's not a pretty picture. There are several clips here, showing critical areas erode away. For Marshall, it was vindication for all those times he was met with eye-rolling when he talked about erosion.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.