One of the ways Louisiana encourages businesses and industries to locate their facilities within our state borders is to offer tax exemptions. Quite often these exemptions are the difference between a business locating in Louisiana or another state getting the jobs and the residual revenues that come with an employed work force.

A group called Together Louisiana suggests that Louisiana is giving away too much money in tax exemptions. The effects of not having the actual cash on hand that would be raised from tax revenues directly impacts our schools systems, and other services provide by local and parish government.

Spokesman for Together Louisiana Broderick Bagert told the Louisiana Radio Network,

Not just a little bit, but a lot of tax money

Is simply handed over in the form of these tax exemptions. How much is " a lot of tax money"? Bagert and his group suggest that amount would $ 1.6 billion.

Bagert says that Governor Edwards does have the constitutional authority to change this policy.

We have been making the case that what the governor can and ought to do is to say, ‘I’m not going to sign any more of these contracts unless the entities that are losing the money sign off on them'

On the other side of the issue Tax and Finance Council Director for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Jim Patterson seems to suggest in his comments that it's a matter of keep our state competitive for these industries and the jobs they bring.

I think it makes a lot of companies kind of reevaluate their position as it relates to our state.

Patterson told the Louisiana Radio Network that over 40 states have similar tax exemption measures in practice. He suggested that it's often these tax breaks that sway an industry to move in or move on.