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From The Publisher: April 2016

04/08/2016 08:00AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

Easy Money For Louisiana

By Art Suberbielle

Our elected representatives must enjoy spending time in Baton Rouge because they went through a special session without completing the job they were called to do. Now they’re back in regular session for another 3 months. And afterwards, they probably will return for yet another special session. At this rate, they’ll probably spend the better part of 5 or 6 months in the capitol. Problem is, no one wants to bite the bullet and come up with real, lasting solutions to the shortage of money in Louisiana and cutting the unnecessary spending in some areas.

I’ve made this suggestion to several of the state representatives, but so far no one seems to have listened. So now, I’m putting it out here and maybe this idea will gain some traction. Louisiana needs to tax Internet sales. Yes, we need to tax all internet sales.

If you’ve started to work on filing your state income tax, you may have noticed a line that asks you to put in your total Internet purchases, so you can pay the sales tax at this time. Give me a break. Can you remember exactly how much you spent on Internet purchases during 2015? By taxing Internet sales, the legislators would raise revenue and level the playing field for our local merchants. Those who sell the same items available online have been losing sales because folks often buy over the Internet where they don’t have to pay sales tax. 

One excuse for not taxing Internet sales mentioned by some legislators is that it’s difficult to enact such a measure. However, I just returned from a trip to Alabama where the state has proudly announced that they will begin to tax Internet sales. So, if Alabama can do it, we should be able to figure out a way to do it in Louisiana. 

Raising taxes aren’t popular, but this proposal just levels the playing field and will raise much needed funds for the state.  Now, can we please look seriously at cutting unnecessary expenses to balance the budget?

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