Small businesses are the backbone of much of Louisiana, yet we are increasingly fighting to survive. As a small business owner in North Louisiana, I take pride in my work and being able to provide for my family as well as give back to my community. But between Congress and the state Legislature annually increasing the tax burden on small businesses, I have to wonder every year how much I will have to cut back just to stay afloat.
Governor Bobby Jindal's plans to increase cigarette taxes won't do anything to alleviate the state's budget problems. It's just more of the same here in our home state - tax and spend!
Instead of the Jindal Administration and this Legislature encouraging more economic development and job creation in our state, they are determined to add to the tax burden that small businesses like mine are already drowning under.
An increase in cigarette taxes doesn't just affect smokers. It impacts several thousand small business retailers across the state. A $1.05 increase in the cigarette tax means that adult shoppers who smoke and are on a limited budget may forego buying other products. This means less profit for small business owners.
It means I may have to cut back on staff because my profits are reduced again.
Louisiana needs to focus on creating and attracting new business and jobs. Let's work to create more jobs and opportunities for our local residents rather than force them to take on another financial burden.
It's time to say enough is enough, and put some pressure on the Jindal administration to look at the real consequences of this tax! It is a further tax burden on adult tobacco consumers and another burden on Louisiana's small business community.