Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tax amnesty lucrative for state

Louisiana’s latest tax amnesty program generated more than twice as much money as state officials expected.

Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday that delinquent taxpayers paid $303.7 million — more than double the $150 million anticipated.

The two-month program, which ended on Halloween, waived half the interest owed if state taxpayers settled their accounts in full.

The use for part of the proceeds already is decided. Legislators agreed earlier this year to put $90 million into a coastal fund and to use $86 million to replenish the state’s “rainy day” fund. A California company that helped with the program also must be paid.

Jindal said he wants to spend the rest of the money — about $127 million — on health care, which is facing a massive budget shortfall.

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