Governor Jindal and the Amazing Shrinking Revenue
“Creating recurring expenditures by spending one-time money is not just Fiscal Irresponsibility… it is a Failure to stand up for the taxpayers we were elected to serve. Today, our state’s financial ledger has grown unbalanced to an historically dangerous level.”
“Despite strong public opinion to the contrary, the governor stubbornly refuses to consider increasing revenues, either by increasing taxes or eliminating or suspending any of the 441 tax exemptions that are costing the state over $7 billion a year.”
““It’s a very risky way of balancing the budget,” said Jim Richardson, a Louisiana State University economist who sits on the four-member Revenue Estimating Conference that is about to meet to determine how much of the higher-than-projected revenue collected by the state Treasury can be spent. “I don’t see any way our conference can buy into that figure without more information.””
““You know its numbers will be off. But you don’t want one side or the other to be gaming the numbers.” — Greg Albrecht, Legislative Fiscal Office economist The Hawks note that the upcoming 2014 budget funds state colleges and universities in part by using $449 million available next year only – i.e., one-time funding.”“
”Other than his perpetual presidential campaign in waiting, nothing has characterized Gov. Bobby Jindal’s six-and-a-half years as governor more than the state’s ongoing budget crises. And other than deep cuts to higher education and health care, nothing has characterized those budget crises more than Jindal’s addiction to one-time money to balance the budget.“
"In Louisiana, lawmakers essentially passed the largest tax cut in state history by rolling back an income-tax hike for high earners in 2007 and again in 2008.
Without those tax reductions, Louisiana wouldn’t have had a budget deficit in fiscal year 2010, the 2011 deficit would’ve been 50 percent less and the 2012 deficit of $1.6 billion would be reduced by about one-third, said Edward Ashworth, the director of the Louisiana Budget Project, a watchdog group.
Louisiana’s 441 individual and corporate tax breaks cost the state $7.1 billion last year. That nearly matches the $7.7 billion that all state and local taxes brought in.
Some of the breaks provide sales-tax exemptions on groceries, prescription drugs and residential utilities that saved Louisiana taxpayers $717 million last year. But another allows Louisiana companies to keep 1 percent of the state sales taxes they collect — about $34 million statewide — just for filing their tax returns on time.”
“Critics of the Jindal administration say the governor’s $25 billion proposal to pay the bills next year includes a good bit of “money laundering.”
“In Zachary, where I grew up, we would call this bull****,” State Treasurer John N. Kennedy, said of the accounting gimmicks the administration used this year and over the past few.”