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Tax Repeal Death Rattle 

  A proposal to phase out the Louisiana income tax over a 10-year period starting in 2014 appears to be in its death rattle in the final days of this year's legislative session. Senate Bill 259 by Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Livonia, started out as a measure to cut income taxes and replace them with a combination of cuts and other revenue measures, but it has been repeatedly amended and now barely resembles its original text.

  The measure came out of the Senate with an amendment that largely neutered it. The Senate amendment turned the phase-out into a "study resolution," which rendered it meaningless. The bill's tax-reduction provisions were later restored in a House committee, which stripped off the Senate floor amendment and returned the bill to its original form. Last week, however, the full House amended the bill again — this time putting back the "study commission" provision — before deferring final action on it. It is probably dead for the session.

  Proponents and opponents of the bill chided each other for playing politics with the measure, which is a sure sign that neither side really wants to deal with the issue. — Clancy DuBos


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