Louisiana Republicans Beg Grover Norquist to Ease up on his No Tax Pledge

Louisiana has a $1.6 billion budget shortfall which means even local Republicans think increasing tax revenue is in order. They believe that Governor Bobby Jindal's refusal to weigh such options is a direct result of his allegiance to anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist's "no tax pledge," which dictates that taxes can't possibly be raised unless the increase is offset by other spending cuts.

This weekend a group of conservatives took their complaints to the man himself and asked Norquist to consider Louisiana's recent tax cuts instead of preaching such a zero-tolerance message. The letter to Norquist was signed by Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Joel Robideaux and 10 other state GOP reps. Norquist responded with his own letter, okaying the proposal but calling the state's inability to find other revenue "disconcerting." He also accused the state of "overspending for decades" and refused to weigh in on the Student Assessment for a Valuable Education proposal, which would create a higher tax credit for a nonexistent student fee. "If you don’t like the SAVE Act, why not find other offsetting tax cuts that are more to your liking?" asked Norquist.

Lawmakers have until Thursday to approve a budget, which Jindal would have to okay by July 1st. Jindal plans to announce whether or not he's running for President at the end of June.


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