Louisiana Senate Bill number 284 which is a substitute for Louisiana Senate Bill number 223 both proposed by state Senator Jack Donahue, Republican, Mandeville, is also known as the bill to establish the Student Assessment for a Valuable Education (SAVE) Credit Program.
SB 284 is a higher education tax credit.
SAVE who wouldn’t like the idea of saving higher education? Let us allow the students and hardworking citizens to SAVE money.
It looks and sounds good but to live out the fantasy one must not wonder how or why?
Actually SAVE is like fishing. All you have to do is imagine catching fish without bait, a hook, a line, a pole, and most importantly without any water for as far as the eye can see.
It ain’t even a video game or daydreaming of time on the water with the Ole Beachcomber himself, Mr. Bob Scearse, after being outfitted courtesy of a shopping spree at Steinbergs. Heck my fantasy, so let’s add another Baton Rouge legend, Mr. Bobby Meador, to our angling team.
Consider that the Ole Beachcomber (RIP), Mr. Bobby Meador (RIP), and to take someone perhaps more well-known outside the Bayou State and still fishing, Mr. Bill Dance all together and if SAVE were in fact like fishing or a fish, these gentleman combined wouldn’t have a clue.
Actually Albert Einstein, Papa Smurf, or even the great nutria playing Bouré in a bateau couldn’t make sense of this craziness.
You see SB 284 or SAVE creates a tax credit for something that doesn’t exist yet.
Now if that something which is a student fee is created, then SAVE covers the amount of the new fee imposed in the form of a credit.
For clarity sake:
“Here’s how the scheme would work: LSU, Southern, UNO, Delgado and the other public colleges and universities would impose a fee of about $1,500 on each of the 220,000 or so students enrolled at their campuses. This would raise about $350 million in theory.
But the students wouldn’t actually have to pay the fee. That’s why it can be viewed as a phantom fee. Instead, the students would receive a tax credit equivalent to the $1,500 fee.
In practice, the scheme calls for the tax credit to be assigned to the state Board of Regents — which oversees higher education institutions — which would then get the phantom fee payments from the Department of Revenue for bookkeeping purposes.”
“The Donahue bill specifies that residents would not be required — under any circumstances — to actually pay the student fee for which the tax credit would be created. Essentially, the bill is providing a pass through for new money raised for higher education — to make sure it can comply with the “no tax” pledge.
In fact, Donahue said he was sponsoring the bill, almost entirely to satisfy Jindal’s “no tax” pledge requirements and avoid a veto. Such legislation irritates a few lawmakers, who don’t think Louisiana’s tax code should be altered — simply to satisfy the governor’s commitment to an outside group”
- Since Louisiana has a $1.6 billion budget gap,
- Since Bobby Jindal signed a pledge to Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform back when Jindal lost the election in his first bid to become governor
- Since the Americans for Tax Reform pledge requires a state tax cut or other offset such as a tax credit for every state tax raised
We have what Louisiana state treasurer John Kennedy touts as “nonsense on a stick,” and asks “Is that the best we can do — come up with more smoke and mirrors? No rational person would come up with that policy.”
Representative John Bel Edwards and candidate for governor offers:
“The idea that we would do that to satisfy Bobby Jindal and the stupid pledge he made to Grover Norquist is just ridiculous,” Edwards said in an interview. “It’s a ridiculous scheme. It’s the worst piece of legislation I’ve seen as it relates to fiscal policy.”
And Bobby Jindal plans to announce his candidacy for President of the United States of America? As long as money talks and the special interests walk can we SAVE We the People?