During the 2015 regular session the legislators pass a “temporary” (wink, wink, nod, nod) 1 percent tax increase (HCR 8) on all non-residential electrical utilities.
The tax increase (regardless of what Gov. Bobby Jindal and Grover Norquist call it) received less than the constitutionally-mandated two-thirds (70) vote by the House of Representatives.
As a result, several individual companies led by the LouisianaChemical Association filed a lawsuit on July 1 questioning the constitutionality of the tax increase.Last week, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (“LDR”) said, should the litigation be successful, they would gladly refund the unconstitutional taxes paid.
This magnanimous gesture would save the poor rate payers the burden of paying the taxes under protest.
On the surface, it may seem like a nice gesture to refund taxes not owed.
Upon further review, it is more like a person showing up at one’s door saying: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”
The real purpose of the LDR’s gesture is to allow the Jindal Administration to spend the extra $100 million plus without worrying about having to pay it back.
At worst, it would saddle the next administration with finding the funds among the already projected $713 million revenue shortfall.
Louisiana Law Blog lays out legal options for avoiding being bitten while checking this gift horse’s mouth.
All you have to lose by not reading this information is your money.
As a matter of full disclosure, I have no pecuniary interest in this lawsuit.
However, as a citizen, I’m insulted by politicians and bureaucrats who pee on my leg and then try to convince me it’s raining.
If you know someone who pays non-residential utilities, feel free to pass this on to them.