by Kevin Allman
Well, that didn't take long. Ever since the Monroe News-Star broke the news that Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to overhaul Louisiana's tax system may involve abolishing state income and corporate taxes while hiking sales tax, people have been arguing about the roughed-in portion of the plan. (And former Jindal aide Timmy Teepell was busy on Twitter last night addressing the plan's detractors.)
A sampling of opinion (and keep in mind that no one has the specifics of Jindal's plan yet):
Scott McKay, The Hayride, "BUT OF COURSE: The Soros-Funded Crowd Attacks Jindal’s Tax Plan":
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s announcement today that he wants to dump the state’s personal and corporate income tax and make up the difference with sales taxes has been pretty well-received in a lot of quarters, as the announcement has made its way into a fairly wide swath of national news reports and gotten Jindal some good notices among the low-tax crowd.
But it was virtually impossible not to foresee that the state’s left-wing activists would go to war against the idea. And the Louisiana Budget Project, which draws funding from George Soros’ Open Society Institute, was first out of the gate in sending a release out to trash Jindal for attempting to craft a tax system which can compete with Texas. ...
Necessities poor people need - food for home consumption, prescription drugs and residential utilities — are exempt from sales taxes in Louisiana. Jindal’s revenue secretary Tim Barfield has already said they’ll seek to protect those exemptions so as to protect poor people who need that stuff to subsist. Flat-screen TV’s won’t be protected, though, so if you’re poor and a couple points on the sales tax will break you, maybe you’ll have to go the layaway route or do some bargain-shopping for plasma.
Charles Pierce, Esquire, "BOBBY JINDAL'S CREATIVE NEW TAX PLAN":
"Bobby" unveiled his new tax plan for Louisiana and, boy howdy, is it some kind of tax plan. He wants to eliminate the state's personal income taxes and its corporate taxes, the latter probably because the state hasn't yet allowed major corporations to poison it quite as thoroughly as they can. (Huey Long must be rolling in his grave.) In their place, "Bobby" suggests that the state sales tax — which, of course, falls most heavily on the poor and the middle class — be hiked to somewhere vaguely in the vicinity of the Van Alen Belt. And stores along the Mississippi and Arkansas borders will be throwing a parade. To say nothing of the fact that this almost guarantees that the budget-writing process of Louisiana will fall further into a dog-fighting pit between legislators who'd rather not have their constituents die on the sidewalk, and Jindal's mighty line-item veto. And, besides all that, the scheme is a moral grease-trap.
More details should be forthcoming in March, when the legislature receives a more detailed plan from Team Jindal and sits down to hash through the details.