A bill in the Louisiana House of Representatives that would allow parishes in the state to impose additional tobacco taxes if approved by voters has been deferred by its sponsor.
On Monday, State Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, put House Bill No. 187 on the deferred list, which will keep it the House Ways and Means Committee through the 2015 legislative session but effectively takes it off the committee’s to-do list. Should she want to revisit the idea later in the session, she could take it off the deferred list and resume the bill’s journey through the legislative process.
Moreno introduced a similar bill in 2014 in an attempt to allow Orleans Parish to impose its own tobacco taxes, but that was defeated in the House Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee.
While the law would allow parishes to use the tax revenue for any lawful purpose, Moreno told The Times-Picayune that she saw it as a move to defend against a possible repeal of the state’s inventory tax on businesses, which local governments use to cover a portion of the budget for police, fire and other services.