Louisiana Gov. Supports Tax to Subsidize Saints Deal

BATON ROUGE --– Louisiana state legislators are considering a proposed 5% rental car tax (HB 807), backed by Gov. Kathleen Blanco, to help the state meet its annual financial commitments to the NFL's New Orleans Saints.

The bill, now in the House Ways and Means Committee, includes an exemption for insurance replacement rentals and other rentals resulting from a customer's vehicle being repaired.

The Blanco administration is also backing a hotel tax hike and taxes on Superdome concessions and tickets. According to the proposal, the state would use the resulting tax revenue to either make payments required by the state's existing $186 million contract with the Saints or to make payments tied to a future long-term deal.

Rental companies with local operations have expressed opposition to the tax. Critics of the tax plan also include the Business Travel Coalition, which argues that higher travel taxes will result in a substantial dropoff in business travel to the region.

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