The Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee on Monday indefinitely deferred all tax reform bills for the legislative session, effectively killing the effort of Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) to eliminate the state's income tax.
"Unless the committee members have a change of heart, I think its probably dead for this session," committee chair Rep. Joel Robideaux (R-Lafayette) told reporters, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Jindal already said he wanted to "park" his plan last Monday. At the time, Jindal said that he wanted the legislature to come up with their own alternatives. "Already, several of you have filed plans that phase out the income tax. So let's work together to pass a bill this session to get rid of our state income tax," he said. But Robideaux also deferred those bills, putting on ice the broader effort to achieve governor's signature tax proposal.
Robideaux added that if a member wanted one of the proposals to be brought up, then he would honor the request.
Jindal proposed eliminating the state's income tax, with brackets at 2 percent, 4 percent and 6 percent. To replace the lost revenue, he proposed raising the sales tax from 4 percent to 5.88 percent and cigarette taxes from 36 cents a pack to $1.41 and introducing an array of new taxes on business services. The plan would have had a regressive effect, raising taxes on the poor and lowering them on the rich, according to a study by the Institution for Taxation and Economic Policy.
The Louisiana governor -- who's considered a possible contender in the 2016 presidential race -- was reelected in 2011 with two-thirds of the vote, but has seen his approval rating fall to 38 percent -- worse than President Barack Obama's numbers -- after the introduction of the plan in January 2013.