Hawaii is the only other state in the country that had less tax-collection growth than Louisiana last year, and according to the nonprofit Tax Foundation, the “accounting gimmicks” and “irresponsible” use of one-time dollars under the Jindal administration to avoid raising taxes could be hurting the state’s overall growth.

According to The Advocate, a new report from the Tax Foundation says Louisiana, for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, saw a 1.2 percent increase in tax collections, a small fraction of the 8.9 percent national average. Hawaii’s growth percentage was the lowest at .4 percent:

The report does not specifically categorize Louisiana, but Tax Foundation economist Mark Robyn said Louisiana seems to have taken the “combination” route of using billions of dollars in one-time funds and “across-the-board budget cuts” in recent years. Gov. Bobby Jindal has avoided going the third route of seeking new taxes.

“In the short term, as boom turned to bust, the combination of unsustainable spending commitments and dropping tax revenue led to opening of significant structural budget deficits in many states,” the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation report states.

The national average growth rate for the past four years was 4 percent, and that included during the economic recession. Louisiana grew 3 percent during that time, ranking 43rd nationally.
Jindal responded to The Advocate through a prepared statement, telling the Baton Rouge paper that the Pelican State has “one of the best business climates in the country.”

The Advocate, however, points out that Louisiana is ranked 32nd by the Tax Foundation for “business tax climate,” one spot higher than the 33rd ranking Louisiana held before Jindal took office.

Read the full story here.

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