Jan Moller, executive director of Louisiana Budget Project, a Baton Rouge-based nonprofit that “provides independent research and analysis of Louisiana fiscal issues and their impact on low and moderate income residents,” released the following statement on the heels of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to eliminate personal and corporate income taxes and make up the revenue shortfall with higher sales taxes:

Any true ‘tax reform’ should fix Louisiana’s chronic revenue shortage, which has resulted in the elimination of hospice care for the terminally ill, battered women being turned away from shelters and cuts in mental health services for children.

At a bare minimum, a tax overhaul should not be an excuse to make the state’s poorest citizens pay more, and they would suffer the most from the governor’s proposal to raise sales taxes. While we are glad the governor plans to keep the existing exemption on food, drugs and residential utilities and rebate programs for low-income workers, we fear these steps won’t be enough to cushion the blow on the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Louisiana already has one of the country’s most unfair tax systems, asking more of low-income people than those who are better off, and eliminating income taxes threatens to make this problem worse.

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