Local Government Health Insurance Program
Most county commissions provide health insurance coverage to employees through the Alabama Local Government Health Insurance Program, which was established by statute more than 20 years ago. The program is administered by the Alabama State Employees’ Insurance Board without local government representation. In part as a result of the current uncertainty regarding compliance with the federal mandates for health insurance coverage, the Association urges the Alabama Legislature to establish a separate board to direct the operation of the local government program.
Business Personal Property Taxes
The Association supports legislation to streamline the business personal property taxation process by establishing an online system and/or short form for filing personal property tax returns, provided such system does not result in a reduction of local tax revenues generated from this ad valorem tax. The Association opposes any legislation that would provide a tax exemption or reduction in tax rate for business personal property taxes.
State Tax Refund Offset
The Association supports legislation that would allow counties the authority to offset a person’s state income tax refund for payment of debts due to the local government such as delinquent solid waste fees or unpaid local taxes and fees.
Public Safety Communication
This act creates the crime of interfering with public safety communication if someone were to damage public safety communication equipment or otherwise interfere with a public safety telecommunication broadcast or transmission. The new law applies to 9-1-1.
This act would allow the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to transfer equipment and other property to county emergency management agencies for their use.
Under current law, county commissions are required to “levy” property taxes annually, even when rates do not change. This bill would require all counties to levy property taxes in 2015, and after that, commissions would only have to repeat that step if rates change. The legislation would also ratify all past levies.
Though counties initially did not support this bill, in its final form the legislation includes positive changes, including a provision ensuring that the Lifeline phones are subject to the statewide 9-1-1 service fee in Alabama.