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Tax break measure looks to drop incentives

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - All eyes are on the Louisiana State House floor and Sue Nicholson, the president of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce is watching a bill closely.

"It's almost like the state is reneging on promises they made to these companies to entice them here," Nicholson said. 

A house bill is under consideration this week. If passed, a 15% tax incentive for businesses who set up shop in the state for that purpose, may be coughing up hundreds of millions of dollars in the years to come.

"And say 'oh by the way, you have to give 15% back', it just doesn't look good for Louisiana," Nicholson said. "It leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the people who are investing here."

Nicholson doesn't believe businesses will pack up and leave the Bayou State, if the measure is passed by both chambers and signed by the governor.

"I can't imagine that they would uproot and move but I can see where it would influence future decisions," Nicholson said. 

The Jindal administration is not supporting the move. But Nicholson is surprised at how many state Republicans and Democrats are standing side by side in raising taxes by getting rid of the breaks.

"We have these two generally opposing forces in the legislature working together to try to come up with a compromise to make our universities whole," Nicholson said.

Other lawmakers are working on another plan in hopes of not raising taxes on these businesses.
Century Link has released a statement regarding what is going on in the capital city:

"We are aware of the budget discussion going on in Baton Rouge, and while we believe it is important that our state remain competitive in attracting new employment, we are focused on running and growing CenturyLink. These processes frequently take time to work themselves out. We believe decisions in the long-term best interest of the state will ultimately be reached," Spokesperson Annmarie Sartor said.  


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