Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Business Tax Change

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A Baton Rouge judge says lawmakers properly passed a tax change aimed at raising $103 million to balance the state's budget.

         The Louisiana Chemical Association had argued the temporary suspension of a 1-cent sales tax exemption on business utilities didn't receive the required votes and was unconstitutional.

         Judge Michael Caldwell disagreed Monday, ruling the Legislature followed the constitution in enacting the suspension, which amounts to a short-term tax increase that heavily hits chemical plants.

         Chemical association lawyers refused to comment on the ruling or on the possibility of an appeal.

         Lawmakers scaled back dozens of tax breaks earlier this year to generate more money for the state treasury and stop deep cuts to public health care services and colleges. Suspension of the business utility tax break expires in August 2016.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte



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