The No. 1 issue facing the Legislature right now is taxes.
Gov. Robert Bentley is calling for $541 million in additional taxes to make up for a shortfall in the state budget. Legislative leaders oppose most of the tax increases, saying that small businesses and other taxpayers can’t afford to pay more.
On Wednesday, House Republicans offered their own tax proposal that includes:
- Cigarette tax: Raise it from 42.5 cents a pack to 67.5 cents a pack, which would bring in an estimated $66 million
- Business privilege tax: Raise the maximum tax assessed under law from $15,000 to $22,000, bringing in an estimated $39 million
- Car title fees: Raise it from from $15 to $25, bringing in an estimated $14 million
- Tax on lubricating oils: Change the assessment from a six-cent excise tax to a four percent sales tax, bringing in an estimated $10 million
- Renting/leasing automobiles: Raise the tax on rented or leased vehicles, including delivery trucks and personal vehicles, from 1.5 percent to two percent, bringing in an estimated $6 million
- Insurance worker fees: Raise the fees paid by brokers, adjusters and other workers, bringing in an estimated $4.5 million
- Furloughs: Creating to state holidays for nonessential state workers, saving an estimated $3.2 million
- Suspending the longevity bonus for state employees for one year, saving an estimated $5.2 million
Unlike other business groups, NFIB’s position on public policy is based solely on input from our members. Once the House or Senate passes a tax bill, we will conduct a special survey on key provisions.