Raising the state gas tax to pay for local transportation projects, creating a sales tax remittance system for state and local governments and streamlining the Industrial Tax Exemption Program are some of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s priorities for the upcoming Legislative session.
BRAC said there are five priorities it will push during the regular session, which will run from April 8 to June 6.
The priorities are:
- Address the Capital Region’s transportation crisis: Pushing for a new Mississippi River bridge; more state money to pay for transportation projects and implementing the GARVEE infrastructure program; and addressing any funding gaps for the Interstate 10 widening.
- Streamline tax sale notice requirements: Creating a modern regulatory framework that eliminates hurdles for blight remediation and redevelopment.
- Support smart, comprehensive tax reform: Along with the tax remittance system, which will help small businesses that operate in multiple parishes, the state should enact structural reforms recommended by a task force in 2017 and consider a limited constitutional convention, focused on long-term and comprehensive fiscal reforms.
- Improve Louisiana’s economic competitiveness: Stabilizing and protecting the state tax and incentive policy framework, including fighting measures to weaken the quality jobs and digital media programs. Improving the ITEP program and streamlining local tax agreements also are part of this, along with increasing funding for regional economic development marketing programs.
- Protect K-12 educational reforms and promote expansion of high-quality early childhood education: This includes appropriating additional revenue for early childcare and opposing efforts to weaken or dismantle school choice, high academic achievement standards and the performance accountability system.