Study panel looking at cost, benefit of tax breaks

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Repeated rounds of budget shortfalls have prompted lawmakers to take an in-depth look at the long list of tax breaks that siphon billions of dollars from Louisiana's treasury each year.

A 14-member study panel of legislative leaders Monday launches a six-month review of the $4.4 billion in tax exemptions, rebates and credits on the books.

For years, when state coffers were flush, tax break bills sailed through the Louisiana Legislature. But with the economy struggling, Republicans and Democratic state lawmakers are questioning if they've been too generous.

The commission will comb through the list of tax breaks and recommend the reduction or elimination of credits, exemptions and exclusions deemed to be low-performing or antiquated. Its suggestions are due to be compiled by Feb. 1.

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