A new analysis found that reforms to Louisiana’s popular industrial tax subsidy appear to have strengthened the state’s business climate, reports the Louisiana Illuminator. Advocates of the changes made six years ago say the results should allay fears that curtailing the incentive would kill jobs or drive investment out of town.
The study, released Tuesday, focused on the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis—a think-tank that examines issues related to energy markets, trends and policies—performed the analysis on behalf of left-leaning Together Louisiana. The umbrella network of over 250 local religious and civic advocacy groups lobbied heavily for ITEP reforms Gov. John Bel Edwards enacted via executive order in 2016.
The think-tank compiled publicly available tax data from 206 companies in Louisiana, including the top 100 ITEP recipients and the top two recipients in each parish. In aggregate, they account for 95% of the value of ITEP-exempted property from 2016 to 2020.
Edwards’ ITEP reforms, which have effectively forced companies to pay more of what they owe in property taxes, added more than $16 billion worth of industrial property to local government tax rolls statewide from 2016 to 2021. In turn, that has generated new annual parish property tax revenue totaling $113 million for schools, $55 million for law enforcement and $115 million for public services such as roads, levees, drainage, parks and libraries, according to the report.
Read the full story from Louisiana Illuminator.