June 15, 2008

Fair and Sustainable Tax Reform: Options for Louisiana


Louisiana lawmakers are in what appears to be an enviable position. At a time when legislators in many other states face daunting budget shortfalls, Louisiana enjoys a projected short-term budget surplus for the upcoming fiscal year.

But Louisiana’s tax system remains troubled in one important sense. It is profoundly unfair, imposing much higher effective tax rates on low- and middle-income families and individuals than on the very best-off Louisianans.

The projected surplus gives lawmakers a golden opportunity to reduce the unfairness of the Louisiana tax system. But, as this analysis shows, the tax-cutting measure recently approved by the House Ways and Means committee, Senate Bill 87, would cut state income taxes in a way that would actually make the state’s tax system even more unfair.

This analysis assesses the impact of SB 87 on Louisiana tax fairness, and looks at a variety of other tax reform options, each of which could provide more meaningful tax cuts to middle- and low-income working families than would Senate Bill 87.

Read the Full Report (PDF)