As the pressure mounts on the media for social media clicks and reader attention in a highly competitive marketplace, anonymous sources have become more frequently used by some writers to get stories out quickly and sell certain controversial narratives. The excessive use of these types of sources, once considered taboo by most journalists and journalism schools, has unfortunately become much more commonplace. Whether productive or not, this atypical approach to traditional journalism appears to be a growing trend.
Keeping with this new trend, we at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) put out a call to our members to submit anonymous feedback to the Governor’s recent Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) proposal. Their comments have been startling.
As a reminder, the CAT – generally referred to as a Gross Receipts Tax – would raise roughly $900 million by taxing the gross revenue of a company regardless of profitability. Gross receipts taxes are often compared to an expanded sales tax, which applies not only to the final sale but to all transactions including intermediate business-to-business purchases of supplies, raw materials, services and equipment.
These are some of the responses we received from small and medium-size family-owned, Louisiana-based businesses:
Anonymous Louisiana Employer #1: “We will be directly affected by this new tax if the bill is enacted. Our governor did not consider that all the cost will be passed on to our customers. If any cost cannot be passed through it will result in job layoffs.”
Anonymous Louisiana Employer #2: “The Governor’s CAT idea will be devastating to my business…Most of our competition is from other states and this CAT tax on us will make us uncompetitive in an extremely competitive market…We have already had a small layoff this year and are struggling to make enough sales to keep our people employed…As the owner of a business that has been struggling to rebound from the recession of 2009-2010, struggling with all of the costs to business added during the Obama Administration, severely impacted by the decline in Petro-chemical work due to depressed oil and gas markets, this type of additional business taxation may be the last nail in our coffin. We employ between 125 to 150 people, some with limited skills, who would have very limited employment possibilities in [region of state] if not for [company name]. We love our state and are proud to have provided a decent livelihood to hundreds of employees over our 43 years of business and are very frustrated that our current administration believes that we have not adequately contributed to our state’s finances. We are not a “Wall Street” business or “large corporation” that the Governor believes has raked in millions upon millions of untaxed dollars. We struggle each year to invest in teaching skills to the unskilled, to invest in equipment and technology that will keep us competitive, to invest in our…