Don't spend another $5.3 million on private and religious school tax breaks!
Tell your senator: Please vote NO on SB 13!
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With Louisiana facing a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, you’d think the last thing lawmakers would consider is another special interest tax break that would add $5.3 million to the deficit. But that is exactly what SB 13 by Sen. Rob Marionneaux (D-Livonia) would do.
The state already allows parents of children in private and religious schools to deduct 50% of the tuition and fees they pay from their state income taxes. SB 13 would remove the 50% cap on those deductions, making the deduction equal to the full amount paid, up to $5,000 per child.
Louisiana now has some 441 tax exemptions and deductions on the books. Those tax breaks amount to about $7.1 billion, almost as much as the state collects for the budget’s general fund. Most tax breaks are adopted for a good reason – for economic development, to create jobs, or to help families get by. A good example is the sales tax exemption for food, prescription drugs and household utilities.
But once adopted, those tax incentives are seldom examined to see if they are still serving their original purpose. Without question, the $7.1 billion in current exemptions, credits and deductions contributes to our state’s financial crisis.
The Louisiana Federation of Teachers believes that before any new tax breaks are considered, the state should take a look at the existing tax breaks and make sure that they are in the best interest of our citizens.
And we certainly should not consider any new tax breaks at a time when higher education, K-12 schools, health care and other public services are being devastated by budget cuts.