New Economic Numbers Show Why Louisiana Needs Tax Reform
Louisiana’s job growth has long been stifled by the state’s overly complex and burdensome tax code. During the 2021 legislative session, the legislature passed critical reforms that will simplify Louisiana’s labyrinth of a tax code and finally move us out of the bottom ten rankings in the Tax Foundation’s business tax climate rankings. These reforms will help encourage job growth and opportunities for Louisiana families by making it easier to spur job creation in our state.
These tax reform measures are desperately needed because recent economic data shows that Louisiana continues to struggle in its economic recovery after the pandemic.
The most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Louisiana lost jobs between April and May of 2021. Over this period, Louisiana had the second largest decrease in employed persons, losing more than 4,700 working Louisianans. With these numbers, its no surprise that Louisiana’s 7.1 percent unemployment rate is more than a point higher than the national average and almost two points higher than the state’s pre-pandemic rate.
Our declining job numbers weren't the only disappointing economic news for Louisiana in the past few days.
According to the Bureau for Economic Analysis, the national gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2021 increased 6.4 percent while Louisiana’s GDP increased by only 4.7 percent. The Pelican State’s GDP growth was lower than almost all its neighbors.
The lagging GDP growth put Louisiana in the lowest quintile of economic growth in the first quarter of 2021. Due to its reliance on tourism, Louisiana was hit harder than most during the pandemic. But as the restrictions from the pandemic have mostly been lifted, the only reason Louisiana can point too for not recovering as quickly as its neighbors is poor public policy that was in place long before the pandemic struck the United States.
The October ballot will give Louisianans a chance to take the first step towards Louisiana’s comeback story by reforming the state’s overly complex and burdensome tax code, and given the economic data from the past months, these changes can’t come soon enough.
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