Here's a look at some of the measures that could benefit small business in Alabama.
Legislative Update: 3 Proposals You Should Know About
As the Alabama Legislature moves through the current legislative session, there are a variety of bills under consideration that would impact small business owners. Here’s an update on three key issues.
A bill that blocks cities from setting local minimum wage rates moved quickly through the Legislature in recent weeks. After the Alabama Senate passed the bill, Gov. Robert Bentley signed it into law about an hour later. This bill nullifies a planned minimum wage increase in Birmingham, which the City Council approved last year. It also voids a bill proposed by Rep. Napoleon Bracy that would have increased the minimum wage in Mobile County.
In addition to preventing cost increases for employers in Birmingham and Mobile County, the new law also ensures consistency and predictability in the minimum wage rate statewide.
Small Business Tax Credit
House Bill 36, the Small Business Jobs Act, would provide a $1,500 income tax credit to Alabama businesses with 75 or fewer employees for each new full-time employee they hire and pay at least $40,000. If the new employee is a recently returned, unemployed veteran, the business would receive an additional $1,000 credit for that employee. Employers must retain the new employee for a full year to earn the credit.
There is already a similar tax credit on the books: the Full Employment Act of 2011, which gives businesses with 50 or fewer employees a $1,000 tax credit for new hires earning at least $10 per hour. If HB 36 is approved, businesses would not be able to claim credits under both laws.
HB 36 has passed the House as well as the Senate Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development.
Senate Bill 122 would release employers of liability for permanent total disability benefits for an employee after he or she turns 65. The bill passed the Senate Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development and now moves on for consideration by the full Senate.