The Louisiana Legislature could end up relying on charging sales taxes for items that the state previously said it wouldn’t apply them to, like specialty Mardi Gras items, business utilities, ballet tickets and zoo admissions, as it looks to solve the state’s latest fiscal crisis.As lawmakers prepare to head into a special session Monday to address a looming $1 billion budget shortfall, no definitive plan has been formed but several legislators have zeroed in on the state sales tax as the most likely avenue for raising a sizable amount of revenue.The state has temporarily been charging some sales taxes on many items that were once exempt – a component of the 2016 effort to beef up the state’s anemic coffers. Those new sales taxes are set to expire June 30.But legislators may opt to continue collecting those taxes and more as part of the latest effort to shore up the state’s finances.Legislation is still being drafted and filed, so it’s unclear exactly how many of the state’s nearly 200 sales tax exemptions are at stake. Together, they were valued at about $2.8 billion that the state was not charging before the changes in 2016.Rep. Kenny Havard, R-St. Francisville, said under the… Read full this story
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