BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - The Louisiana House of Representatives is getting ready to vote on a bill to raise more than $100 million in taxes.
The measure would decrease the tax break for people who itemize deductions on their income taxes. The bill would reduce tax deductions for upper income earners.
Governor John Bel Edwards is pushing the bill and yesterday representatives continued negotiating the bill behind the scenes.
Right now the state's budget has a $600 million shortfall which puts state-funded programs like the TOPS scholarship program, K-12 schools, and state hospitals at risk for deep cuts.
Edwards hopes that this tax bill will help prevent cuts.
But many Republicans are pushing back.
"The best part about this proposal is that 74 percent of the people of Louisiana don't itemize their deductions and this will have no impact on them," Edwards said. "And at 57.5 percent the bill fully protects charitable donations and mortgage interest deductions."
Edwards went on to itemize his areas of concern should the budget deficit not be addressed.
"I'm concerned about the medical center in New Orleans. I'm concerned about infrastructure which is absolutely left out of this proposal. I'm concerned about TOPS, I'm concerned about all the higher ed schools," Edwards said.
Lawmakers need to look at the whole spectrum of the budget, not just the revenue or taxation side, he said.