The hard work of county leaders to influence the legislative process definitely paid off big this week, and the ACCA staff is grateful to everyone who contacted their legislators. After a big push to combat a bill (SB 489 Arthur Orr) to require counties to pay for mandated audits, the Danger Bill was carried over in the sponsor’s own committee Wednesday. These senators deserve special thanks for protecting county government: Beasley, Bedford, Brewbaker, Dunn, Holtzclaw, Pittman, Sanford, Singleton, Ward, Waggoner, Williams.
Another big effort helped neutralize a harmful bill that was on the House floor Tuesday. The bill (HB 71 Bill Roberts) would have required payments every 30 days on public works contracts, but the bill only passed the House Tuesday afternoon after multiple assurances that county concerns had been resolved.
There are only 9 legislative days remaining in the session, and your contacts with your legislators are more important than ever as time grows short and the pace accelerates. There are still bills ACCA needs to pass this session to improve county government in Alabama, and there are still more Danger Bills to be fought to preserve the counties’ ability to provide essential services to citizens.
Manufactured home decals
Manufactured homes are required to show a decal proving that property taxes have been paid, and Rusty Glover’s SB 467 would repeal that requirement. This would make it extraordinarily difficult to make sure that the proper manufactured home taxes have been paid. The bill is up for a vote in a Senate committee Thursday morning. The committee needs to hear from people responsible for enforcing this tax that the loss of this important enforcement tool could result in a huge loss of state and local revenue. Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee: Williams, chairperson; Bussman, Coleman, Glover, Keahey, Scofield, Taylor.
Siphoning off county revenue
An economic development incentive bill that is dangerously near final passage would create a new abatement of the financial institutions excise tax. The bill (HB 257 Jaime Ison) must be amended on the Senate floor to protect county finances, and supporters of this bill have agreed to an ACCA amendment. Urge your senators to support this bill ONLY with the county amendment.
Excess after tax sales
It is hoped that Tuesday afternoon the Senate will take up Steve Clouse’s HB 177, which clarifies the distribution of the bid excess when property is sold for unpaid taxes. (Get the FACT SHEET) Ask your senators to SUPPORT this bill that has been agreed to by ACCA and the banking industry.
Proper payment of deed taxes
It is expected that the House Judiciary Committee will take up Tammy Irons’ SB 216 when the committee meets Wednesday. The ACCA bill would require buyers to provide proof of the actual purchase price when recording or transferring a property title. (Get the FACT SHEET) It is NOT a tax increase, but is only designed to bring about uniform enforcement of existing taxes statewide. Encourage the committee to SUPPORT SB216. House Judiciary Committee: DeMarco, chair; Sanderford, vice chair; McClammy, ranking minority member; Beckman, Ball, Farley, Burdine, England, Givan, Greeson, Wayne Johnson, Jones, Poole, John Robinson, Treadaway.
Election expense reimbursement
For the third week in a row, a Senate committee is planning to consider Randy Wood’s HB 319, which would resolve constitutional questions about a 2011 law affecting which particular election expenses are reimbursable by the state. (Get the FACT SHEET) Twice now the committee has carried the bill over because of concerns about costs. The committee needs to understand that state law has long required the state to reimburse counties for election expenses, and this bill merely updates the list of what is reimbursable to match current technology. Committee members need to hear from you about problems you have had with the comptroller refusing to reimburse legitimate election expenses. Ask them to push to get this bill voted out of committee. Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections Committee: Taylor, chairperson; Williams, vice chairperson; Beasley, Bussman, Irons, McGill, Pittman, Orr
The ACCA bill (HB 89 Mike Millican) to create a statewide 9-1-1 service charge and alter the statewide 9-1-1 coordinating board won approval in a Senate committee this week with minor tweaks to remove the objections of a couple of districts. The bill, which now has universal support from the 9-1-1 community, is poised for a vote of the full Senate. Be sure your senator has heard from his or her 9-1-1 districts and county commissioners about this legislation that is critical to sustaining statewide 9-1-1 operations.
The House went home Thursday night before voting on the ACCA bill (SB 236 Paul Sanford) to ensure that subdivision regulations are enforced where a city’s planning jurisdiction stretches outside the city limits. (Get the FACT SHEET) Both the House and Senate versions of this proposal are just one step away from final passage.
Protecting county revenue
At long last, a House committee has scheduled a vote on Rod Scott’s HB 502, an ACCA bill designed to protect county revenues from new legislative abatements or exemptions without county consent. Urge the committee to SUPPORT HB 502. Legislators would be hopping mad if the federal government abated or exempted state revenue without state approval. House Economic Development and Tourism Committee: Mask, chair; Hammon, vice chair; Kennedy, ranking minority member; Baker, Ball, Brown, Collins, Forte, Harper, Joe Hubbard, Ron Johnson, Merrill, Patterson, Roberts, Scott
Single point of collection for sales taxes
The ONE SPOT bill (SB 459 Slade Blackwell) which would create an online portal for businesses to pay both state and local sales and use taxes is scheduled for a floor vote in the House on Tuesday. As reported earlier, ACCA has agreed to this bill as long as its scope is not expanded. Ask House members to oppose any amendments other than the technical one adopted in committee.