Tag: property tax exemption

The Week Ahead

Committee Activity:

Senate:

SB34–Amends the Alabama Code to provide child includes children in utero.  A positive drug test at time of birth shall create the presumption of exposure in utero.

SB167–Prohibiting lawsuits against restaurants for obesity

SB 301–Defines “person” to include all humans from the moment of fertilization

SB308–Right to Know and See legislation requiring ultrasounds before abortions

SB202–Federal Abortion Opt Out Act prohibits insurance plans that cover abortion from participating in the state insurance exchange mandated by the Obamacare legislation.

House:

HB425–Moving state presidential preference primary to first Tuesday in March along with the general primary in presidential years.

HB324–moving property tax reappraisal on Class II and Class III property to every four years.

HB123–Education Budget

HB365–Informing consumers of duty to pay state and local sales tax on goods purchased over the internet.

Lots of activity on the House and Senate floor as well.  The General Fund budget is scheduled to pass this week probably Thursday.  I hear the House may take up Rep. Hammon’s immigration legislation (HB56).  It’s the eighth bill on the House Regular Calendar, so there’s a good chance they will take it up.

Highlights from this week’s Regular Calendar:

Senate:

SB84–Limiting liability for property owners who lease for purposes of hunting or fishing.

SB140–Forever Wild reauthorization

SB127–Limiting terms in the Alabama House and/or Senate to 3 terms.

SB112–Removes racist language and references from the Alabama Constitution

SB17–Easing the ballot access requirements

SB50–Tax credits for creating jobs

SB152–Grants small businesses (less than 10 employees) that locate or expand in Alabama a 5-year property tax exemption.

House:

HB32–Moving the presidential preference primary to June beginning in 2012

HB56–Immigration reform legislation

AL Legislature Moving Quickly On Key Reforms

Since gaveling into session on March 1, 2011, the new GOP-controlled Alabama legislature has acted swiftly to get much-needed reform measures passed. The first and one of the most important of these was Rep. Greg Canfield’s Rolling Reserve Budget Act. Changing the way we budget the Education Trust Fund, Canfield’s bill will prevent proration in tough years. Legislators have also taken steps to restore fiscal responsibility to the state’s budget through the repeal of the state’s Deferred Retirement Option Program which will save taxpayers $70 million in additional benefits to state employees who work beyond retirement age.

Back in December they passed a complete overhaul of state ethics laws, and are continuing to strengthen them through legislation like Rep. Mike Ball’s HB58 requiring public officials/candidates and spouses of public officials/candidates to disclose if they are employed by the state or federal government or have a contract with the state or federal government.

Now they’ve turned their focus to the increasingly serious problem of illegal immigration. The Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform estimates the cost of illegal immigrants to the state of Alabama is $270 million a year. This estimate does not include many costs such as unemployment, gang violence and other criminal activity associated with illegal immigration. Rep. Micky Hammon and Sen. Scott Beason are looking to address this problem through HB56 and SB256 respectively.

Largely under the radar have been several pieces of legislation that make Alabama a more business-friendly environment. Rep. April Weaver’s legislation to allow qualifying employees to deduct from Alabama gross income 100% of the amounts they pay as health insurance premiums, Sen. Cam Ward’s legislation to provide tax credits to businesses that create jobs, and Sen. Paul Bussman’s bill to establish a 5-year property tax exemption for small businesses that relocate or expand in Alabama will improve economic development and create more jobs.

So far, the Alabama Legislature is off to a good start. If they continue to pass constructive reform measures and conservative legislation, they will get a solid A grading from us!