Far from a deal? Edwards, House GOP remain at odds on taxes - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Far from a deal? Edwards, House GOP remain at odds on taxes

By MELINDA DESLATTE
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The two sides essential to determining if Louisiana will have a special legislative session on taxes next month to close a $1 billion budget gap seem to be making little progress in their negotiations.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday he doesn't "see a lot of reason to be optimistic" that he'll reach the "agreement in principle" he's seeking with House Republican leaders to call the session.

His comments came as House GOP delegation leader Rep. Lance Harris released a statement calling Edwards' tax plan "general talking points and vague concepts."

About $1 billion in temporary sales taxes are expiring when the new financial year begins July 1. If lawmakers want to replace the lost revenue with taxes, that requires a special session. Otherwise, they'll have to slash spending.

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