- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on the governor’s centerpiece business tax proposal (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says House Republican leaders need to devise a budget-balancing tax plan, after spurning his idea to levy a new tax on business sales.

The Edwards administration pulled its gross receipts tax bill from a vote Tuesday in the House Ways and Means Committee because it faced certain defeat there with GOP lawmakers lined up in opposition.

The Democratic governor says time remains in the two-month legislative session to pull together a package of tax changes that could help close a $1.3 billion budget hole looming in mid-2018.

But he says he’s looking for House leaders to “step up, offer solutions and not just continue to say no.” He says lawmakers need to stop wasting time and work on rallying support for a tax approach.


12:30 p.m.

Rather than face certain defeat, Gov. John Bel Edwards‘ administration is giving up on its effort to levy a new tax on business sales to help stabilize Louisiana’s budget.

Rep. Sam Jones, a Franklin Democrat who sponsored Edwards‘ proposal, pulled the bill from consideration Tuesday in the House Ways and Means Committee as the tax plan faced certain rejection.

Kimberly Robinson, Edwards‘ revenue secretary, said the administration doesn’t intend to revive the proposal.

Shelving of the business tax concept - which would have enacted a new tax on a company’s gross receipts - throws the governor’s budget-balancing tax plan into disarray.

Edwards said the gross receipts tax would make companies that use loopholes pay “their fair share.” But the idea gathered little public support, even from the Democratic governor’s allies.

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