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1 Scott Drenkard, A Strong Fiscal Plan for Louisiana 1 (2016)

handle is hein.taxfoundation/stfiscpla0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 









                   A  Strong Fiscal Plan for Louisiana

                                     Scott Drenkard
                   Economist & Director of State Projects, Tax Foundation

                       Louisiana House Committee on Ways & Means
                                   February 23,2016



Chairman Abramson, Vice Chairman Morris, Members of the Committee,

Thank you for the opportunity to address you today. My name is Scott Drenkard, and I'm an
economist and the director of state projects at the Tax Foundation. For those unfamiliar with the
Tax Foundation, we are a non-partisan, non-profit organization that has monitored fiscal policy at
all levels of government since 1937. We have produced the Facts & Figures handbook since 1941,
we calculate Tax Freedom Day each year, and have a wealth of data, rankings, and other information
at our website, www.TaxFoundation.org.

In November of 2015, my colleagues and I released a book in partnership with the Committee of
100 titled Louisiana Fiscal Reform:A Framework for the Future. Each of you should have been delivered
a copy recently. In this book, we detail reform recommendations designed to help Louisiana
overcome the problems of short term fixes and build a tax system that is simpler, more neutral, and
provides stable revenues for government operation.

As a component of writing this book, my colleagues and I met with over 250 Louisianans from all
walks of life, including small business owners, local government officials, trade associations,
industry representatives, state officials across the political spectrum, and ordinary taxpayers.

While we take no position on specific legislation, we offer our recommendations with hopes of
providing insight into the successes and troubles of other state's tax systems so that Louisiana can
make educated decisions.

Louisiana's  Special  Session  Presents   an Opportunity

The proposals facing the House and Senate this special session address two main goals: 1) shore up
revenue to address the state's structural deficit, and 2) address perceived inequities in the
application of certain taxes.

I think everyone here agrees these two goals are attainable, but I think more importantly, that this
body has an opportunity in the process to attain a third, very important goal: make the state's tax
system or simple, sensible, straightforward, and competitive for businesses and individuals. In other
words, state tax reform is possible this special session, more so than at any time in the last decade.


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