2008 2nd EXTRAORDINARY SESSION
The 2nd 2008 Special Session focused on tax
reforms to spur economic development and the strategic investment of surplus
state revenues from the 06-07 state budget. Legislators' work regarding business
taxes related to the accelerated phase-out and elimination of certain state
taxes on businesses that have long been considered a deterrent to business
development and expansion in Louisiana.
Senate Bill 12 by Senator Marionneaux (Act 12)
accelerates the phase-out of the state sales tax on qualified manufacturing
machinery and equipment purchases or leases by one year so that the tax will be
eliminated by July 1, 2009. This Act provides businesses $4 million in
accelerated tax relief. The state began phasing-out this tax during the 04-05
state fiscal year with the tax to be eliminated July 1, 2010, prior to the
enactment of Act 12.
Senate Bill 10 by Senator Marionneaux (Act 10)
accelerates the phase-out of the state business tax on
borrowed capital by one year so that the tax will be eliminated by 2011. This
Act provides businesses with $26 million in accelerated tax savings. The state
began phasing-out this tax in the 2007 tax year with the tax scheduled for
elimination in 2012, prior to the enactment of Act 10.
Senate Bill 7 by Senator Chaisson (Act 9)
begins the phase out of business utility taxes. Beginning July 1, 2008, one cent
of the existing state sales tax on the purchase of utilities by businesses and
industries will be phased-out. The remianing one cent of the tax will be
eliminated beginning July 1, 2009.
House Bill 9 by Representative Richmond (Act 4)
expanded the Louisiana New Market Tax Credit program last year that piggybacked
the federal New Market Tax Credit program in an effort to encourage investments
in low-income communities and storm-impacted GoZone eligible areas of the state.
The initial program set aside $50 million for the state income and corporate
franchise tax credits. Almost all of the available tax credits have been granted
resulting in over $200 million in direct investments in the state. The new Act
adds an additional $50 million for the program, limiting the maximum amount of
credit for any one entity to $5 million unless the investment is in a recognized
state-targeted industry in which case the credit is capped at $15 million.
House Bill 46 by Representative Fannin (Act 7)
allocates a portion of the 06-07 surplus to key investments in economic
development initiatives, such as:
$24.6 million to fund the first phase of the Port of New
Orleans' plan to expand capacity at the Napoleon Container Terminal. The
expansion is expected to allow the port to substantially increase its container
business and create at least 1500 new jobs.
$10 million to fund improvements at the Port of Terrebonne
to accommodate plans by Edison Chouest Offshore to expand its Louisiana shipyard
operations. The expansion is expected to bring 1000 new jobs to the area.
$57 million to improve access to the Cyber Innovation
Center at Barksdale Air Force Base in an effort to make the site more attractive
as a location for Cyber Command - a project that will mean the retention of
several thousand jobs, the creation of several thousand new jobs and position
the Northwest Louisiana area as a high tech professional center.
2008 REGULAR SESSION
Senate Bill 343 by Senator Duplessis (Act 450)
extends the authority of the secretary of the Department of Economic Development
to conduct confidential negotiations for purposes of economic development until
July 1, 2012. The current authorization was set to expire on June 30, 2008.
Confidential negotiations are limited to 12 months, but may be extended another
12 months if negotiations remain active, and only if the party the department is
negotiating with maintains confidential information provided to them by the
department. When the negotiations are no longer active, or at such time that the
entity makes permit applications, all records shall be subject to the public
Senate Bill 807 by Senator Duplessis (Act 433) is
designed to give consumers more control and choices in the video services
market. By streamlining the local franchise process and thereby encouraging
competition, the bill seeks to deliver consumers the benefits of competition
including the opportunity for competitive prices, innovative products and better
Senate Bill 807 is similar to legislation passed in 19
other states. Where competitive video services have been introduced, consumers
have benefitted from competitively priced services and significant investments
in the broadband network.
The bill also seeks to stimulate investment in advanced
communication and video services. AT&T Louisiana has already announced a planned
investment of $400 million in Louisiana over the next several years. This
planned investment will allow for fiber network upgrades, further broadband
deployment and Internet-based technology