By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal's tax package includes handing out rebate checks to the poor, military employees and certain retirees who otherwise could face hefty tax hikes under the restructuring.
Those groups don't pay income taxes, so Jindal's proposal to eliminate income taxes in exchange for higher and more sales taxes would hit them hardest, without an offset.
The Jindal administration has outlined broad program details. The programs are estimated to cost $165 million next year and grow annually, adjusted for inflation.
Questions have been raised about whether new entitlement programs could be too costly and subject to cuts in later years or create new administrative headaches.
The rebates for low-income residents, the larger of the two programs, would run through the system that hands out welfare payments and food stamps.
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