BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The decision to shelve GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal's state income tax repeal plan was "responsible and prudent" because his proposal could have worsened the state's ongoing financial troubles, the House Republican delegation said Tuesday.
Alexandria Rep. Lance Harris, the delegation chairman, issued a statement saying GOP House members were concerned about the budget implications of the tax repeal without an offset for the lost revenue.
"While repeal is off the table for this legislative session, we will continue to work on the issue so that we can craft a responsible way to achieve our objectives in reforming the tax code in the future," Harris said.
The Republicans' statement showed solid legislative opposition to the GOP governor's main agenda for the session and appeared to end any possibility of reviving the tax repeal plan before the session ends in June.
A day earlier, the House Ways and Means Committee indefinitely deferred all House tax repeal bills.
With that move, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus announced it won't push its alternate tax plan to lower the tax rates.
Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, chair of the group, said in a written statement Monday night that the caucus wouldn't seek hearings on measures that would cut rates for individual and business income taxes and eliminate the corporate franchise tax.
She said the financial analysis of the proposals showed numbers that were "drastically different" than had been expected.
Jackson said the caucus will continue to push an increase in Louisiana's cigarette tax from 36 cents per pack to 68 cents, with the new dollars dedicated to health care services and higher education.