He can’t say he wasn’t warned.
When Governor Bobby Jindal decided to sign off on the repeal of the Stelly Plan, a plan that had previously been approved by the majority of Louisiana voters, he knew that many experts predicted that this repeal would result in the loss of at least $350 million in revenue in Year One.
From the Louisiana Budget Project, a nonpartisan research group, January 2009:
The first of 2009 initiates is the Stelly tax repeal. The Stelly Plan eliminates sales tax on food, drugs and household utilities, and replaces them with income tax. The Stelly Plan was approved by voters in 2002. During the 2008 legislative session the Stelly Plan was repealled, which reduced the two highest income brackets to the level they were prior to the implementation of Stelly.
This new tax cut begins the first of 2009; however, the state revenue department will not alter the withholdings on individual income tax tables until July 1, 2009. Essentially, individuals will not receive more in their paychecks until July 1, 2009; unless individuals have their employers adjust the withholdings prior to July.Due to the repealling of the Stelly Plan the state is expected to lose $358 million dollars in taxes for the next budget year, with continued losses in following years.
Our budget shortfall is now estimated at… quoting The Advertiser:
February historically is a big month for income tax receipts. Instead, for the first time in 27 years, more money went out in refunds than came in from paymentsThe sucking sound set off alarm bells in the halls of government, with the prospect of $250 million to $400 million in cuts having to be made in the last three months of the fiscal year.
Bobby Jindal can’t pretend like this is a surprise. It had been predicted well over a year ago.
He gave a tax break to the wealthiest Louisianans, a tax break that economists predicted would lead to a budget shortfall, and in so doing, Bobby Jindal repealed a law that had been passed, through a referendum, by the majority of Louisianans. Now, we all have to pay for the predicted consequences: Cuts in education, health care, and discretionary spending.
Meanwhile, Jindal’s drained the State’s economic development fund on ridiculous projects; he’s spending precious dollars to prop up businesses that support the Arkansas economy. Seriously.
You’d be hard-pressed to name one thing that Bobby Jindal has ever done for Central Louisiana. He’s appeared at a few church functions and rolled out laws against sex predators. Bold stuff, right? Particularly when you consider the powerful lobby behind sex predators. (Clancy, I know you’ve made the same claim, but ask my friends: I’ve been saying the same thing about Jindal’s crusade against a non-existent lobby for over a year; great minds, right?).
The funny thing is: Jindal was against the Stelly repeal, until he was for it.
Now, I’m sure, he’ll claim that the whole subject is irrelevant… ancient history.
It’s too bad Louisiana Public Broadcasting won’t be able to report on the issue. Jindal is effectively forcing them off of the air on Mondays and Fridays.