Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Clergy Critical Of Jindal Tax Swap Plan

A group of Louisiana Clergy leaders delivered a letter Monday to Governor Bobby Jindal’s office criticizing the Governor’s plan to eliminate the state income tax while increasing the state sales tax.

The letter was signed by 250 ministers from across the state.
In “An Open Letter from Louisiana Clergy to Governor Jindal”, the clergy state their belief that the Governor’s plan will cause low and middle-income people to increase their tax burden while simultaneously lowering the tax burden on the wealthy.

“We believe that any proposed law that would increase the tax burden on low- and moderate-income families in order to decrease it for wealthy families must be judged an unjust law,” the letter said.
“It is universally recognized that sales taxes create a disproportionate burden on poor and moderate-income families who spend nearly all they earn.”

Jefferson Parish clergy who signed the letter include:
-          The Rev. Jay Angerer, Rector, All Saints’ Episcopal, River Ridge
-          Rev. Deacon Maggie Dawson, St. Martin’s Episcopal, Metairie
-          The Very Rev. A.J. Heine, Rector, St. Augustine’s Episcopal, Metairie
-          Rev. Charmaine Kathmann, Deacon, St. John’s Episcopal/Anglican, Kenner
-          Rev. Donald C. Muth, Retired, Episcopal Diocese of LA., Metairie

The Jindal Administration disputes the premise of the letter.
“This is not an attempt to do tax reform on the backs of the poor,” said Tim Barfield, executive counsel for the state Department of Revenue.