April 22, 2013


Please contact House members from your area and urge them to oppose HB 559 by Rep. Jared Brossett, D-New Orleans. The bill would extend by two years the time for utilization of design-build contracts in New Orleans and elsewhere. This bill was reported faborably by a narrow margin from the House Transportation Committee earlier this week and will be debated on the House floor this afternoon. 


Gov. Bobby Jindal announced two weeks ago that he was putting his ambitious tax reform package in "park," but he asked the legislature to send him its version of a bill designed to eliminate state income taxes. Earlier this week, House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, made waves by announcing that there is not enough legislative support to a comprehensive tax reform package on such a short time frame and, therefore, he was not going to allow such bills to be passed out of his committee. The Black Caucus also announced that it would no longer pursue its tax reform package but would still pursue an increased tax on cigarettes - from $0.036 per pack to $0.68 per pack.


As for cigarette tax increases, which were originally part of the governor's tax swap package, administration officials issued a press release this week stating that the governor will veto any cigarette tax increase that do not include an offset. The governor's office basically said that Gov. Jindal could still support an increase in the tobacco tax with a corresponding decrease in the personal income tax and repeal of tax exemptions, as long as the swap does not increase taxes overall. 

Although it appears more and more unlikely, a revised tax package may well come before the House Ways and Means Committee in another week or so. Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Metairie, introduced a pair of bills (HB 714 and HB 715) that could miraculously revive the discussion on tax reform. However, The Senate has warned the House not to send them an income tax repeal bill unless it includes a mechanism to offset revenue losses.
AIA Louisiana

521 America Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
office: 225.387.5579
email: [email protected]