Southwest Louisiana preparing for new legislative session

New Legislative Session begins April 8th

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Tim Stine, the Chief Financial Officer of Stine Home and Yard company, said since the last legislative session, there’s a problem with enticing new start-ups in the Lake Area.

"It hasn't improved, especially on the business taxes, and legal reform,” Stine said. “Both those issues make this state uninviting for business."

Stine said currently the industrial tax exemption program, or ITEP, is an incentive given to new manufacturing businesses that relieves them from paying property taxes for the first 10 years. However, he says the Edwards administration has tightened the tax break for manufacturers.

Stephen Waguespack, the President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry agrees and hopes this is addressed in the legislative session that begins on Monday.

"The ITEP program has been Louisiana's number one most important tool over the last several decades, you've seen literally a hundred billion dollars of announcements come in and look at this area,” Waguespack said. “ITEP was the big reason that was going to happen. We don't want to lose the momentum we have, especially here in Southwest Louisiana."

Ultimately, Stine says we must continue to build on our successes and not let them slip away to other states.

“Sure we got a great place to be here,” Stine said. “But there’s others in the united states that we compete with. And if we don’t have that ITEP program to bring them here, well that means we won’t have any taxes to spend if we don’t bring the revenue in.”

For more information on the things being addressed in the news session, click here.

For more about ITEP, click here.

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