Businesses concerned about Gov's tax plan

PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - With Louisiana's legislative session in full swing, many are wondering how much they'll have to pay in taxes.

Sandra Mcquain, C.O.O of Baker Manufacturing in Pineville is concerned about the governor's plan to create a gross receipts tax on businesses.

Under the plan, businesses making more than $1.5 million will pay 0.35% percent of all their revenue, those making less pay a flat rate.

"That's resources we won't have for research, development, innovation, expansion of product line. Things that grow our company," said Mcquain. "The only way I am going to be able to absorb that is not buying new equipment, not hiring workers and not investing in our product future."

The governor is proposing the tax as a way to fill the state's looming budget deficits. (D) Rep. Jeff Hall, Dist. 26, said he's not supporting the tax yet and wants to see how it's may possibly change in the legislative process.

"I don't think the citizens in my district will be fully beneficial from it,” said Hall. “However I do support the concept that we have to do something to bring a streamline of revenue into the state."

"We are going to have to figure out as a state what kind of government we can afford," said Mcquain.

Mcquain also said recent taxes like the sales tax increase are making the business climate more difficult.

"I can tell you that every increase in sales tax or personal income tax kill me from a recruiting standpoint,” said Mcquain.

For Hall, raising revenue is a necessity.

"The revenue will have to come from somewhere. Because if we don't do it we won't have any businesses. Businesses won't have any roads to drive on, nor will they have state troopers and other departments of necessity that the state performs to be sure that we have sustainable communities, neighborhoods and a business environment itself," said Hall.

But for Mcquain, taxing businesses is bad business for the state.

"They are going to have to decide if we are going to be a partner to grow meaningful employment and expand the tax base or are we simply going to be there creditors. I can't afford to be both," said Mcquain.
The bill for the gross receipts tax was filed just a few days ago and is awaiting committee review.

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