Together Louisiana Fights for Reforms to State Tax Exemptions

One month after 400 'Together Louisiana' leaders secured the commitment of Governor John Bel Edwards to work towards tax fairness, the organization released a groundbreaking study demonstrating that Louisiana's Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) amounts to giveaways of over $1.6 Billion per year. In response to the organization's call on Governor Edwards to use his constitutional authority to reform the program, the Governor's office has announced there will be an executive order.

Study findings show that over the last 10 years, $16.7 billion in local tax revenue has been redirected to subsidize heavy manufacturing, amounting to over $535 thousand per job reportedly created. Louisiana's top 5 environmental polluters, according to the EPA, received $506 million in taxpayer subsidies. Even British Petroleum (BP) received $9.4 million in state subsidies during and after the Deepwater Horizon spill. Louisiana is the only state in the country with a board that gives away local tax revenue, without approval from the local governments losing the money.

Leaders are calling for reforms that would transform the subsidy giveaways into the economic incentives they are supposed to be. They ran a full page ad in The Advocate (see graphic on right) and will present their recommendations to the Board of Commerce and Industry, the body that decides who gets exemptions, to pressure them as well to reform the program.

Louisiana's Tax Break for Industry Can be Curbed by Governor, Group Says, Times Picayune

Study Finds $1.6 Billion in Louisiana Industrial Tax Breaks Too Generous, The Advocate

Political Horizons: A Rare Dissent on Corporate Exemptions by Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Politicians, The Advocate

Local Governments Stand to Lose $16.7 Billion in Taxes with Industrial Tax Exemption, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

"Costly and Unusual": Analysis of Industrial Exemptions, Together Louisiana