June 29, 2007
Reported by: Associated Press
Lawmakers have wrapped up the regular legislative session, negotiating a flurry of last minute tax breaks, while keeping in tact Governor Kathleen Blanco's spending plans.
An estimated $189 million in tax breaks for the new year that begins July 1st were sent yesterday to the governor's desk. That's slightly more than the $180 million limit Blanco set before she said she would use her veto pen.
Republican lawmakers lamented the size of next year's nearly $30 billion budget and the defeat of some of the tax breaks they sought. Represntative Jim Tucker of Terrytown says he and his G-O-P colleagues put up a good fight, but overall lost on expenditures.
The largest tax break approved would go to taxpayers who itemize on their income tax forms.
But lawmakers also sent Blanco a litany of tax break proposals that would kick in a year after the 2007-2008 budget and could saddle the next governor's administration with hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. Those include a repeal of the gift tax, a tax break for the working poor and a one-time tax break for homeowners with large property insurance increases.