One of our core beliefs at the Pelican Institute is that a free market leads to greater flourishing and opportunity for Louisiana families. Free people, unencumbered by government barriers, produce goods and services that elevate living standards for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Yet one of the barriers that Louisianans have faced for decades is an antiquated, complex tax code that’s hindered families, local entrepreneurs, and outside businesses from thriving in the Pelican State. In response, families and businesses have migrated to neighboring states with more straightforward tax codes and lighter tax burdens. The data is clear on this. People and companies want to live and work where there is no income tax or where taxes are flat, fair, and simple. People want to keep what they’ve earned. Is that a surprise?

In recent years, there’s been a revolution in state tax reform, and people have moved where reform is occurring. Thankfully, Louisiana may be joining that revolution.

On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee met for the first time in a series of meetings to discuss revamping Louisiana’s tax code. The sessions are in response to Representative Richard Nelson’s House Resolution 178 that lawmakers passed this spring. “When you look at the state’s trajectory, our tax structure is the fundamental thing holding us back,” said Nelson.

We agree. During the meeting, we sent out the following tweet, “This is a critical conversation to have as more states move toward low, flat, simple tax rates. Reforming our tax code is about bringing jobs and opportunity to Louisiana families.”

After the session, we had Representative Nelson on our Pelicast to further discuss the need to reform our state’s tax code. We hope you’ll listen.

We stand by our statement: Reforming our tax code is about bringing jobs and opportunity to Louisiana families. We’re excited for this conversation to continue in the weeks and months ahead. Ultimately, we believe this is another step in writing Louisiana’s comeback story.