Collections resulting from Louisiana’s state tax amnesty program totaled $450.6 million, more than triple the amount expected when it began. Another $15 million was generated through tax settlements that were not eligible for the program, the Department of Revenue said Monday.
The state had expected the program to bring in $150 million. Interest payments were waived if taxpayers settled their outstanding accounts in full during a two-month period that ended Oct. 31.
The revenue will reimburse the Coastal Restoration and Protection Fund for the $90 million taken out of it during the legislative session to pay for costs associated with hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Another $86 million will go into the budget stabilization fund to replace money used to soften budget cuts for higher education in fiscal 2010.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would like to use some of the remaining revenue to pay down existing general obligation debt.
As of June 30, Louisiana’s net tax-supported debt was $9.97 billion, including $2.8 billion of GOs. The state also had $5.3 billion of outstanding revenue debt supported by fuel taxes and $1.7 billion of debt supported by annual appropriations by the Legislature.
Louisiana GOs are rated AA-minus by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, and A1 by Moody’s Investors Service.