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Louisiana Lawmaker Pushing For Changes To Industrial Tax Exemption Program

A request for a property tax break for two projects at ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge refinery were denied by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board in January.
CC BY-SA 4.0, Clarke
A request for a property tax break for two projects at ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge refinery were denied by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board in January.

The Industrial Tax Exemption Program, or ITEP, is the most expensive tax incentive program Louisiana offers to manufacturers. In exchange for spurring economic development, manufacturing companies can get a break on their property taxes for 10 years.

For decades, there was one state board responsible for approving or denying these requests. That changed in 2016, when Governor John Bel Edwards signed an executive order giving local governments a chance to have a say.

The new policy came to a head last month, when the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board denied an ITEP request from ExxonMobil, sparking concerns from the company, city and state officials about Exxon’s future investments in Louisiana.

State Senator Bodi White represents part of Baton Rouge in the Louisiana legislature. He plans to bring a bill next session that would change ITEP once again.

On this week's Capitol Access, Senator White discusses the changes he'd like to see made to the tax incentive program.

Copyright 2021 WRKF. To see more, visit WRKF.

Wallis Watkins is a Baton Rouge native. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 2013. Soon after, she joined WRKF as an intern and is now reporting on health and health policy for Louisiana's Prescription.

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