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Excerpts from LDR Executive Counsel Tim Barfield’s speech on tax reform

January 17, 2013

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana Department of Revenue Executive Counsel Tim Barfield spoke about tax reform in a January 15, 2013, speech to the annual meeting of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Here are key excerpts from the speech:

• “The ultimate goal of tax reform is to advance Louisiana’s economy and become more competitive in job creation and economic development, while generating the revenues necessary to provide essential government services.”
• “Good tax policy is the path toward changing our state’s economic landscape and placing us on a sound financial footing.”
• “A state tax system must demonstrate sufficiency, stability and certainty.”
• “The state must learn to live within its means, and we want our tax policy to reflect the growth of our state’s economy.”
• “While there are some situations that warrant a certain tax break or exemption, it is not good tax policy to pick winners and losers at the level of state government.”
• “Good tax policy is achieved through a broad tax base with low tax rates.”
• “When we examine the volatility of corporate income tax, it is easy to see that this is one of the most volatile of all tax types, and normally only returns a fraction of revenue to the state for all the energy expended in administering and collecting it.”
• “There is tremendous volatility with personal income tax, and a proven stability with sales tax.”
• “In the past four years, the state has improved on all major business climate rankings, excelling on several lists among the top 10, and luring dozens of economic development projects that are creating more than 63,000 jobs and over $28 billion in new capital investment. Tax policy is one of the foundational blocks of making Louisiana second to none in the economy of the 21st century.”