When ATR sent a letter to Louisiana legislators on the first week of the 2012 session urging them to stand with Gov. Bobby Jindal in opposition to tax increases, The Shreveport Times was dismissive, confidentially proclaiming that “Under the Louisiana Constitution, state lawmakers can't approve tax increases this legislative session.”

An astute commenter on The Times website noted that even though this year is a non-fiscal session, that hasn’t stopped Pelican State lawmakers in Baton Rouge from trying to pass higher levies in the past.

And as it would happen, legislation to raise taxes was introduced on March 12th, the first day of session and four days before The Shreveport Times declared that no tax increases would be taken up this year. SB 361, introduced by Sen. Jean-Paul "JP" Morrell, would impose a substantial increase in the 9-1-1 tax. The bill is projected to raise taxes by $12 million, with all the money earmarked for Orleans Parish Communications District. Some proponents try to claim this is a fee. Not so. Since the district has no separate 9-1-1 fund, this revenue will be available in the parish's general fund for spending completely unrelated to providing 9-1-1 services.

SB 361 was passed out of the Senate Local & Municipal Affairs Committee yesterday and senate floor action on the bill is pending. For a copy of the legislative alert ATR sent to Louisiana legislators, click here.  

For a copy of the aforementioned letter that ATR sent to Louisiana legislators during the first week of session, click here.