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Jack Donahue Newsletter 7-7-2007 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, July 06 2007 - 8:00 pm

Dear Friends,

 

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking the district and visiting with voters about their top concerns. Repeatedly, people mention two issues that need immediate attention in Baton Rouge: the high rate of taxes and the high cost of insurance.

We have now finished another legislative session and although some steps were taken to address these problems, there is plenty of unfinished business which the next legislature will have to address.

Here are some of my thoughts on these two critical concerns...

Dear Friends,

 

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking the district and visiting with voters about their top concerns. Repeatedly, people mention two issues that need immediate attention in Baton Rouge: the high rate of taxes and the high cost of insurance.

We have now finished another legislative session and although some steps were taken to address these problems, there is plenty of unfinished business which the next legislature will have to address.

 

Here are some of my thoughts on these two critical concerns:

 

High Taxes

 

Legislators waited until the final hours of the session to consider minimal tax cuts for Louisiana citizens. With record-breaking spending of over $32 billion, it is unfortunate that more tax relief was not approved. Instead of a full repeal of the onerous Stelly tax plan, legislators agreed to a partial phase-out of the unpopular tax increase. Now that tax cut, along with others, awaits approval or veto from Governor Blanco.

 

Clearly, with such a large budget and such reluctance for minimal tax relief, our priorities are misplaced, as we have money to grow government at an alarming rate, but we don’t have enough money to give more relief to struggling taxpayers. This makes Louisiana uncompetitive with neighboring states, such as Texas, which has no personal income tax. A recent study by the Tax Foundation showed that Louisiana has the 11th highest rate of state and local taxes in the country.

 

While some tax relief was approved, Louisiana citizens are facing higher costs, increasing insurance premiums and stagnant wages. In addition, legislators approved a new automobile documentation “fee” or tax, and added mandates for minimum liability insurance coverage, increasing costs for 40% of citizens. Although some of these measures were necessary, the out-of-pocket costs for consumers were increased without corresponding tax relief.

 

Meanwhile, nothing was done in this session to give businesses relief from high sales taxes on utilities and natural gas that is a disincentive to new industry coming to Louisiana.

 

Although some tax breaks are better than none, it is disturbing that tax relief was last on the agenda for legislators and the Governor. The next legislature needs to be more aggressive in cutting wasteful government spending and providing much more in the form of tax cuts for our citizens and businesses.

 

Insurance

 

Some progress was made in the area of insurance reform. An insurance consumer advocate’s office was created, while legislators abolished the unnecessary Insurance Rating Commission that was unpopular with the insurance industry. To lure more insurance companies to Louisiana, an insurance match fund of $100 million was passed. Louisiana will now match dollar for dollar any new funds medium-sized regional insurance carriers bring into Louisiana to write new property insurance policies. Insurance companies taking advantage of this offer will have to write policies for five years and take policies from the over-burdened Citizens Property Insurance Company.

 

Also the legislature passed some insurance relief. Policy holders will also receive an income tax credit equal to one-third of the insurance premium increases between 2005 and 2007. This tax relief is justified when we consider how rates have skyrocketed since Hurricane Katrina.

 

Throughout the campaign for State Senate, I will continue to provide you my observations and suggestions on critical issues facing the state. It is time for leadership in Baton Rouge, and I stand ready to lead as the next State Senator for District 11. The election will be held on Saturday, October 20. Please join me in this campaign to not only become your next State Senator, but to also begin the long process of turning around the great State of Louisiana.

 

 

I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. I can be reached at (985) 612-1034 or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Sincerely yours,

 

 

Jack Donahue

Candidate for LA State Senate, District 11