The Louisiana gubernatorial debate airs on Friday from the studios here at KLFY News. Here’s a preview of the candidates on money and the half-cent sales tax.
HB438 looks to slowly phase out the temporary half-cent sales tax that is set to sunset in 2025. The temporary .45% sales tax brings in $420 million a year. It was put in place to deal with the severe deficit that the Edwards administration inherited in 2016. It began as a whole cent sales tax but was reduced in 2018 after the economy began to bounce back.
Republican candidate John Schroder is Louisiana’s current State Treasurer. Schroder supports letting the half-cent sales tax roll-off but with some budget shuffling.
Schroder said he treats every penny like a dollar and believes the government should too.
“I’m the bank for the state but you see where all the money is spent,” Schroder said.
Republican State Representative Richard Nelson campaigns on the idea of raising the state-level of sales tax and expand the base to include services such as the delivery of goods.
“Let’s build a structure especially around the tax code that will attract businesses and attract people here,” Nelson said.
Lake Charles Attorney Hunter Lundy supports renewing the half-cent sales tax set to roll-off. Lundy is running for governor as an Independent.
“I’m not obligated to any political party. So, I think change can happen,” Lundy said.
Republican Stephen Waguespack is the former leader of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
“Whether that sales tax rolls or whether you lower income taxes instead; some kind of tax relief that’s most impactful for working families is what I want to do,” Waguespack said.