LA Senate Starts Approving Tax Bills For Next Year's Budget

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Senators have started passing tax bills to help raise new dollars for next year's budget.

         With a 28-7 vote Friday, the Senate agreed to temporarily suspend a 1-cent state sales tax exemption on the purchase of electricity, steam and water for utilities by businesses.

         The suspension would last for one year and raise $103 million for the state general fund.

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         It was the first in a package of tax bills to generate $750 million for the upcoming budget year, to stop cuts to public colleges and health care services.

         The Senate was expected to take up other parts of the package later Friday.

         The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry was trying to kill the bills, sending out emails urging people to "Take Action! Stop massive tax increases on businesses."

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