A Vote For H.B. 591 Is A Vote To Increase Taxes
Baton Rouge, La. – Anti-tax advocates are calling foul on Democratic efforts to portray House Bill 591, by Representative Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa, as nothing more than an extension of current government policy.
The Louisiana Tea Party Federation, representing over 20 individual Tea Party groups, is calling on the Louisiana House of Representatives to vote against House Bill 591 that will be considered by the Legislature early this week.
“There is an old saying about putting lipstick on a hog,” said Robin Edwards Coordinator of the Louisiana Tea Party Federation, “at the end of the day, you’ve still got a pig. HB 591 is that hog. No amount of lipstick can hide the fact HB 591 extends and makes permanent a temporary tax renewed once already for an additional 10 years to fund government expansion.”
House Bill 591 by Rep. Ritchie would permanently extend a temporary tax increase on tobacco that was passed in 2000 and renewed in 2002 for the purpose of funding then Governor Foster’s Supplementary Budget Recommendations – new spending and government growth. Under current law, this tax would expire on June 30, 2012. HB 591 would reinstate the tax indefinitely.
“When government puts into effect a tax and sets that tax to sunset on a specific date, when that date comes we should sunset that tax. Government should keep its commitments to the public,” said Jonathan Duhon President of Southwest Louisiana Tea Party.
Duhon continued, “We commend Governor Jindal for keeping the commitment and challenge the members of the legislature to also honor that commitment to the people of Louisiana”
“If the Louisiana House votes to re-start that program, that body is voting for a new tax. When you propose a new tax, it ought to be presented that way,” added Rob Gaudet President of Shreveport Bossier Tea Party.
“Governor Jindal is right,” said Laura O’Halloran President of Tea Party of Livingston Parish. “We’re already dealing with the new taxes coming out of the White House, and now we’ve got bureaucrats in Baton Rouge who want to do the same thing. It’s time for our elected officials to take a hard stand against any new taxes.”
The Louisiana Tea Party Federation members are also concerned that HB 591 would serve as a handy vehicle for the tax-and-spend crowd in the Louisiana Senate.
“This so-called tax-extension measure could quickly become a full-fledged taxing vehicle if it gets out of the House of Representatives – leaders in the Senate are ready to load up this bill into a much larger tax,” said Edwards. “More taxes on more Louisianans only increases the growth in government bloat. It’s time for our elected officials to make real cuts and stop passing new taxes – that goes for new ‘tax extensions’ too.”