Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee Consider Eliminating State Income Tax
LA TAX FREE STATE? Could Louisiana join other states like Texas and Florida that don’t have state income taxes? That’s what Representative Republican Richard Nelson of Mandeville wants lawmakers to consider. Nelson sponsored a House Resolution during the last regular legislative session that was passed to study the state’s tax structure and make recommendations. Appearing before the Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee earlier in the week, Nelson told the committee Louisiana is losing population because of the state’s complicated tax structure.
“Texas our neighbor to the west grew six times faster than we did, Florida is about the same. What do they have in common? They have no income tax,” Nelson explained. “It’s one of the major things that drives, that attracts people from across the country. It’s a competitive business now between the states. We have to look at how we move our state forward, how do we attract the people and businesses here? How do we keep the best and brightest of our citizens and our companies here in Louisiana?”
Data from the Internal Revenue Service, since 2016 reveals most of Louisiana’s outmigration has gone to Texas, Mississippi, Florida, California, and Georgia and in that order. Analysts agree there is a strong correlation between states with lower costs of living including low or no taxes and population growth. But without an income tax they also say the state would lose more than $4 billion annually in revenues that would need to be replaced.
Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Stuart Bishop said the committee will meet about every other week to study the issue until the 2023 regular session.