Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter is among nearly 250 Louisiana clergy who signed an open letter opposing Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to raise the state sales tax to 5.88 percent.
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Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, is among names identified as the United Faith Community of Louisiana in an open letter voicing "deep concern" about the Republican governor's tax proposal for the upcoming legislative session.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the planned increase in the sales tax would raise the current rate by about 47 percent and would be added on top of local sales taxes. Residents in New Orleans, for example, would pay a combined rate of about 11 percent under the plan.
Most regressive in nation
Clergy members say Louisiana already has one of the most regressive tax systems in the nation, putting a disproportionately high burden on low- and moderate-income families. The chief reason, they said in the letter, is the state's heavy reliance on the sales tax.
"It is universally recognized that sales taxes create a disproportionate burden on poor and moderate-income families, who spend nearly all they earn," the letter said.
"Louisiana already has the third-highest sales tax rate in the nation," the letter continued. "We are concerned that your tax plan seeks to increase our state's sales tax rates even further."
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SOURCE: Baptist Standard