WASHINGTON, D.C. Today Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a non-profit taxpayer advocacy organization, reiterated its opposition to HB 591, legislation that would raise taxes on tobacco products. ATR notified members of the Louisiana House this week that a vote in favor of HB 591 would violate the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a commitment that sixteen members of the Louisiana House have made to their constituents to oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes.

A floor vote on House Bill 591 is scheduled for Monday.  The following members of the Louisiana House of Representatives have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge:

Henry Burns (H-9)

Richard Burford (H-7)

Steve Carter (H-68)

Billy R. Chandler (H-22)

Jean Doerge (H-10)

Joseph A. Harrison (H-51)

J. Cameron Henry (H-82)

Dorothy Sue Hill (H-32)

Sam Jones (H-50)

Tony Ligi (H-79)

Jerome Richard (H-55)

Alan Seabaugh (H-5)

Scott M. Simon (H-74)

Jane H. Smith (H-8)

John M. Schroder, Sr. (H-77)

Kirk Talbot (H-78)

“HB 591 represents an irresponsible attempt to increase the state’s reliance on an unstable and declining source of revenue — tobacco taxes are nothing more than a placeholder for future tax increases on the general populace,” says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

 “Tobacco sales make up approximately one-third of convenience store sales. As such, HB 591 would reduce the job-creating capacity of Louisiana small businesses at a time when the state should be looking for policies that increase employment. HB 591 is a step in the wrong direction,” added Norquist.

“Among the more than $350 billion in net tax increases signed into law by President Obama in just the last two years, politicians in Washington have already burdened smokers with a 156 percent hike in the federal excise tax hike on cigarettes. Piling on with another tobacco tax hike adds insult to injury. I urge all Louisiana legislators to stand with Gov. Bobby Jindal in opposition to all proposals that would raise taxes,” added Norquist