LABI president says tax reform a major focus of upcoming legislative session

LABI president says tax reform a major focus of upcoming legislative session

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Business leaders say tax reform is a major legislative priority this year and that it could make a big difference in attracting companies to the state.

Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President and CEO Stephen Waguespack says 2021 is the year of tax reform.

The advocate for business and industry says Louisiana ranks 42nd among the states in terms of tax climate for business, and he says a big reason for that is Louisiana’s tax code. One priority is a centralized system for collecting sales taxes in Louisiana.

“The most important thing the legislature can do this session is to pass centralized sales tax collection in Louisiana. That would lower costs for every retailer in a small to midsized business paying taxes,” Waguespack said.

So, what is the problem with sales tax collection in Louisiana? He says there are more than 50 different tax collectors making it very confusing.

“It forces a small to midsized business in Louisiana to go out and hire an army of CPAs and attorneys to just comply with the confusing tax code. So, we’ve got to fix that centralized collection system.” he said.

Waguespack says it puts Louisiana at a disadvantage compared to neighboring states Texas and Mississippi. He says centralizing sales tax collections would help Louisiana better compete for new companies.

Waguespack says centralized sales tax collections may even result in more revenue for some local governments.

LABI also wants the phase out of inventory and franchise taxes they say discourage investment in the state.

The legislative session starts Monday, April 12.

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