La. House approves tax amnesty plan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Delinquent taxpayers should get a two-month amnesty period to settle their tax bills, the House voted on Monday, a plan that backers believe could raise over $150 million to ease budget cuts.

Along with the amnesty bill, the House approved an amendment to send $1.25 million of the amnesty money to LSU’s Fire and Emergency Training Institute, which teaches firefighters statewide but is facing deep budget cuts. The bill sponsor, Rep. Jane Smith, said the plan would eliminate a proposal to raise fees on homeowners statewide in order to restore the institute’s funding.

‘‘We’re very concerned about the firefighting school, and we know we’re going to have to do something about it,’’ said Smith, R-Bossier.

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Under the amnesty, individuals and businesses with outstanding tax bills could pay in full with no penalty, and would be required to pay half the interest they owe. The Department of Revenue would arrange the details, including when the amnesty period begins and ends.

The bill has the backing of Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The House passed the bill on Monday with a 97-0 vote. It moves to the Senate.


On the Net:

House Bill 720 can be viewed at