Lawmakers will consider a variety of fiscal legislation during the 2007 Regular Fiscal/Limited Legislative Session, the fifth session since hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Over the next few pre-session weeks, we will take a glance at some of the topics on the session's agenda.
*Several House bills have been filed that would return the individual income tax rates and brackets to those prior to the "Stelly Plan." Additionally, legislation has been filed that would re-establish the excess federal itemized deduction which existed prior to adoption of the plan.
*In 1997 the legislature passed Act 818, which phased-out the state inheritance tax beginning after June 30, 1998, until June 30, 2003, when the amount of tax was reduced by 80 percent. A total repeal was effective after June 30, 2004, if and when a judgment of possession is rendered or when succession is opened no later than the ninth month following the death of the decedent. If this is not done, then the full amount of inheritance tax is due.
House Bill 41 repeals the requirement that a judgment of possession be rendered or that a succession be opened within nine months following the decedent's death for the tax to be waived. Further, all persons who paid the tax based on deaths occurring after June 30, 2004, are entitled to a refund.
*House Bill 14 would authorize an income tax deduction for disaster-related casualty losses attributed to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
*House Bill 20 would require gaming licensees to provide gambling hotline information in their television advertising.
*House Bill 79 would extend the sales and use tax exemption provided for purchases of utilities by certain steelworks and blast furnaces, effective July 1, 2007.
*House Bill 86 would reinstate the sales tax exemption for business utilities, effective July 1, 2007.
*House Bill 93 would provide a tax exemption for the purchase of college textbooks.
*House Bill 94 would allow a $75 child tax credit for all children under the age of 19, for children under the age of 24 who are full time students, and for disabled children of any age.