The Louisiana Legislature’s three-and-a-half week special session on the budget that starts on Sunday is gearing up to be a high-profile battle over tax hikes — and not just inside the Capitol.
Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking lawmakers to consider a mix of tax proposals and budget cuts when the special session starts Sunday. That’s propelling several groups into campaign mode. For Louisiana residents, that’s likely to translate into more polls and political ads.
“The purpose of our ad is to educate Louisianans on the taxes that their state government is attempting to levy on them,” AFP-Louisiana state director Phillip Joffrion, said in a statement. “We want citizens in our state to know just how expansive and costly these new taxes will be. The bottom line is the citizens of Louisiana oppose these tax increases and simply cannot afford to send more of their hard earned money to Baton Rouge.”
The Louisiana AFP website calculates the estimated tax increases by “gallons of pennies” and estimates that a family of four would pay $867 more a year under Edwards’ proposals.
AFP’s website mirrors several that the group has launched across the country to fight tax proposals. According to AFP, its 30-second video ad will run online, including on newspaper websites across the state. Other groups are reportedly eyeing large scale television ad buys.
Edwards has put forth several tax proposals for balancing the state budget, which is facing at least an $850 million shortfall in the current year and $2 billion shortfall in the budget that begins July 1.
He gave a 10-minute, statewide televised speech Thursday night to try to gin up support for the measures.