Louisiana’s recently completed tax amnesty program brought in at least $303.7 million to state coffers, more than double the $150 million officials had hoped to realize over the two-month period.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said the initial estimate should rise as the Department of Revenue continues to process filings.
“We said that when we announced the tax amnesty program it would not be a silver bullet or an instant fix, but the program has generated a significant amount of money,” Jindal said.
The amnesty will provide $86 million to replenish the budget stabilization fund, which was drawn on to help balance the fiscal 2010 operating budget. Another $90 million will pay back funds temporarily transferred to the emergency response fund to provide the state match for federal hurricane recovery efforts in 2008.
Jindal said the remaining $127.7 million should be used to offset scheduled reductions in health care services in fiscal 2011, which would require approval by the Legislature and a declaration by the Revenue Estimating Conference that a portion of the amnesty program revenue is recurring. The state waived interest payments on outstanding accounts if taxpayers settled their accounts in full during the two-month period ending Oct. 31. The Revenue Department said it erased about $21 million in penalties and interest.