Wednesday, 13 September 2017 13:01

Edwards talks with New Orleans leaders with major budget deficit looming Featured

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john bel edwards loresHow do you fill a budget gap of more than #1 billion dollars after consecutive years of combination of tax increases and budget cuts amounting to roughly $3 billion?

This is the issue plaguing Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, his staff, the Louisiana legislature and of course, the business and the citizens of the state.

 

Going into his third year as the Louisiana governor, Edwards has had to deal with a budgetary process and major deficits arising from fiscal mismanagement from the Governor Bobby Jindal administration and oil price drops which has resulted in a penny sales tax increase that sunsets next summer.  

Obviously, fiscal hawks want more cuts and blame the Governor and his allies for raising taxes.  However, faced with the prospects of more serious hits upon the business community, last year, even the business lobby, The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI )agreed to a one-penny temporary sales tax increase while offering a two penny increase  as a possible resolution.  Since then, LABI and Republicans, in general, have demanded more government cuts. 

As a result of the likely battle brawls and another budget special session, Edwards and key administration officials are taking its case to the state business community in a series of meetings or round-table-discussions..

Below is the press statement issued by the Governor's office, today:

 Yesterday, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne and Kimberly Lewis Robinson, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue, met with business leaders and local elected officials in New Orleans to discuss ways the state and business community can partner to stabilize the state budget.  This was the fourth meeting in a series that Gov. Edwards is hosting around the state of Louisiana to solicit ideas from the business community and local officials on best practices for Louisiana.  The state faces a more than $1 billion fiscal cliff on July 1, 2018, when temporary taxes expire.

 “Just this week, Louisiana was ranked as one of the top states in the country to do business, and we want to keep that momentum going,” said Gov. Edwards.  “As we travel the state, business leaders are telling us that they want a stable, consistent tax structure that is fair and simple and a skilled workforce.  Those are the priorities of this administration as well.  Our economy is slowly on the rebound, but we have more work to do, and these meetings have been very candid conversations with the men and women who actually create jobs and grow our economy.  We look forward to continuing these meetings throughout the state over the next several weeks.” 

Tomorrow, Gov. Edwards, Commissioner Dardenne and Sec. Robinson will travel to Shreveport for a similar series of meetings.  Meetings were previously held in Alexandria, Houma and Baton Rouge. 

Participants in New Orleans were:

Ray Brandt
Ray Brandt Automotive

Stephen Pate
New Orleans Saints

Kim Boyle
Phelps Dunbar

Justin Augustine
Trandev Services Inc

Donna Fraiche
Baker Donelson

Chrystal McDonald
Acrew

Richard Cortizas
Jones Walker

Pres Kabacoff
HRI Properties

Ti Adelaide Martin
Commanders Palace

Kim Carver
Gulf Coast Bank

Bill Hammack
Link Restaurant Group

Gary Solomon Sr.
Crescent Bank and Trust

George Wilson
Barriere Construction

Greg Feirn
LCMC Health

Warner Thomas
Ochsner Health System

Michael Hecht
GNO Inc.

Michael Smith
Hyatt Regency

Brandy Christian
Port of New Orleans

Melissa Gibbs

Gibbs Construction

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