The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 was a shot in the arm for an already strong American economy. By lowering America’s highest in the developed world corporate tax rate and slashing the amount of taxes owed by everyday citizens, the American people are seeing an explosion of jobs and opportunity.
But, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 wasn’t just a boon for Americans and American companies, it was also a windfall for many states. Due to how some states set up their tax structure, lowered federal rates mean more tax revenue for state coffers.
Many states have used this windfall provide refunds and more tax relief to their citizens. But other states like Louisiana have elected to keep the money.
Governor John Bel Edwards has spent much of the year touting Louisiana’s $500 million surplus for the state budget. This surplus isn’t due to cuts of wasteful government programs or increased economic growth bringing in new revenue. In fact, spending has continued to rise, and Louisiana has been flat when it comes to economic growth.
Instead this surplus is due largely to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, as well as state government over-collection of corporate and individual taxes from Louisianans.
The fact that Louisiana has chosen to keep this windfall shows a lack of leadership in Baton Rouge. Other states and politicians from across the political spectrum have used this opportunity to put more money back in taxpayer’s pockets where it belongs.
Examples include Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds enacting legislation that will lower individual income tax rates across the board.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will return that additional revenue to taxpayers through rate cuts, a higher standard deduction, and the replacement of dependent exemptions with a new child tax credit.
Nearly $1 billion will go to Virginia taxpayers through an increase in the standard deduction by 50 percent along with a $110 refund check send out to taxpayers because of a law signed by Ralph Northam.
Instead of touting this new revenue as proof of their leadership chops, these governors and legislators of these and other states showed real leadership by standing up for the taxpayers they serve. As Louisiana is decided what people it will send back to Baton Rouge in a month, they would be wise to ask what people will stand up for them and give them the refund they deserve.