PAR raises concerns about Jindal tax swap plan

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A nonpartisan government watchdog organization says Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to get rid of state income taxes in favor of higher sales taxes could weaken the state's revenue base.

The Public Affairs Research Council's tax advisory panel says a shift to a sales tax-focused system could fall more heavily on the poor, retirees and the disabled. PAR's study group says it could put Louisiana stores at a disadvantage as people shop online and out-of-state to escape higher sales tax rates.

The 15-member study group includes three former budget advisors to governors and others with experience in economics, accounting and business.

Jindal's point person on the tax code rewrite, Revenue Department executive counsel Tim Barfield, says the state sales tax is a more stable and predictable revenue stream than income tax.

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