The Job of Business is to Create Jobs

There is a misleading idea circulating in Louisiana that business don’t pay taxes. Let’s set the record straight.

Businesses pay nearly half of all Sales Taxes in Louisiana, 47%, totaling $2.8B in 2015.

Further, businesses paid an estimated $3B in Property Taxes in Louisiana in 2015, more than half of all collected in the state.

Of course, businesses also pay Corporate Income Tax, which combined with the Franchise Tax (a tax for the “privilege of doing business in Louisiana”), will be more than $400M in the current fiscal year.

Finally, additional business taxes – including Severance Taxes, Excise Taxes, and Business and Occupational Licenses – total hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

In fact, in total, Louisiana businesses pay 59% of all Local and 41% of all State taxes – a rate above the national average (55% and 40%, respectively).

Clearly, businesses in Louisiana pay taxes.

But that’s not the main point. The main point is that the real job of businesses is not to pay taxes, it’s to create jobs. Because it is via these jobs that we create individual wealth, growing communities and ultimately, more taxes in total – from both individuals and businesses.

So, rather than having the discussion about how we extract even more taxes from a business community that already pays above the national average, we should be discussing how we create the conditions to attract even more businesses, that will create more jobs.

As the saying goes, Louisiana doesn’t need more taxes, it needs more tax payers.