BATON ROUGE, La. -- Changes that Gov. John Bel Edwards made to his business tax plan in hopes of lessening criticism cut in half the estimate of what the tax will raise, making his budget-stabilizing tax package hundreds of millions short of what he wanted to generate.
The Edwards administration expected the tax to bring in $800 million to $900 million a year when the Democratic governor first introduced a plan to tax companies' gross receipts, essentially taxing their sales without accounting for profit margins or expenses.
But the administration tweaked the proposal before it was filed to respond to complaints that a gross receipts tax would hit certain businesses too hard.
With new carve-outs for certain businesses, Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson said recalculations show the bill would drum up an estimated $400 million annually for the state treasury.