LA BUDGET SURPLUS: Governor John Bel Edwards revealed last week that Louisiana has a $300 Million Dollar Budget Surplus…thanks to a better economy and increased tax collections. While this would normally be considered good news, this surplus has added to the debate over whether or not the surplus indicates over-taxation. According to a report in the Shreveport Times, GOP Lawmakers who voted against the partial sales-tax renewal earlier this year say the surplus demonstrates over-taxation and that Edwards over-exaggerated the depth of Louisiana’s financial problems in pressing for the tax renewal.
It all stems from the renewal of a portion of the temporary 1 cent sales tax which was set to expire on July 1st , the beginning of the new fiscal year. Edwards addressed the subject during his announcement last week.
Edwards explained “Had we not done the work in the special session,if we let the revenue that was coming into the state expire, that $1.4 billion, we would not be in the position we are in today in terms of having a responsible budget that adequately finances our most critical priorities.”
Edwards will visit Shreveport this morning to mark the pending partnership between University Health and Ochsner Health System. Starting October 1, Ochsner will take over both safety net hospitals in North Louisiana.