NFIB Alabama Small Business Victories
Here’s a look at some of NFIB’s victories in the 2023 session of the Alabama Legislature:
Increase monthly sales tax (HB 77)
HB 77 by Rep. Danny Garrett – The bill increases the threshold for submitting estimated monthly sales tax payments from $5,000 in state sales tax liability to $20,000. Raising the threshold could remove an estimated 3,100 small retail businesses from the requirement of making monthly estimated payments.
Taxpayer rebate (HB 175)
HB 175 by Rep. Danny Garrett-Provides a rebate of $150 per individual and $300 for couples filing jointly. Rebates are designated for taxpayers who filed a state income tax return for 2021. The total cost of the rebates is estimated to be $393 million.
Exception of taxes over 40 hours (HB 217)
HB 217 by Rep. Anthony Daniels-Exempts earnings over 40 hours weekly for full-time hourly employees from state income on those wages. The tax exemption becomes available January 1, 2024, and sunsets July 2025 unless extended by the Legislature.
Brownfields clean up (HB 378)
HB 378 by Rep. Chip Brown-Provides liability protections for companies that redevelop Brownfield sites in the state. Brownfield sites designated by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) include lands that were formerly used for commercial and industrial purposes, such as closed gas stations, dry cleaning establishments, metal plating facilities, auto repair facilities, as well as abandoned factories and land fields. The sites can be cleaned up, remediated, and reused as industrial prospects.
Reduction of grocery tax (HB 479)
HB 479 by Rep. Danny Garrett – Reduces the state 4% tax on food by 1% in September 2023 and 1% in September 2025. The reduction to 2% in 2025 will be delayed if projected growth in revenues to the Education Trust Fund budget are less than 2% in fiscal year 2025. The tax exemption will only apply to food products listed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Municipalities and counties will be unable to raise the local tax on groceries to make-up for the 2% state sales tax reduction.
Property tax notice (HB 491)
HB 491 by Rep. David Faulkner-The law sets July 1 of each year as the deadline for notifying taxpayers their property tax appraisal is increasing from the previous year and extends the time to pay taxes and file an appeal.
Military spouses licenses (SB 37)
SB 37 by Sen. Sam Givhan-Extends professional license reciprocity to spouses of the U.S. Department of Defense civil servants.
Supplemental Appropriations (SB 87)
SB 87 by Sen. Arthur Orr-Included in the supplemental appropriations bill is an appropriation for one-time expenses of an appropriate $522 million to the Alabama Community College System. The one-time expenses include upgrades to existing buildings for programing and/or educational facilities including career technical education, aviation infrastructure, computer graphics/cyber workforce, advanced manufacturing, workforce skills training centers, rural healthcare employees, STEM, and the Innovation Center curriculum.
Rolling Reserve (SB 101)
SB 101 by Sen. Arthur Orr – Creates a savings account within the Rolling Reserve Act to be used to prevent proration. Currently funds in the Rolling Reserve Act can only be appropriated if the Governor calls proration.
DRAM (SB 104)
SB 104 by Sen. Chris Elliott-Changes the standard of liability regarding the service of alcohol in the state from one of strict liability to a broader standard, with a server having to knowingly serve a visibly intoxicated person, and for that service to be the proximate case of the injury or death.
Fraud Prevention (SB 197)
SB 197 by Sen. Arthur Orr- The Examiners of Public Accounts is the state agency required to audit state agencies and other public entities receiving state appropriations. This law will enable the Examiners of Public Accounts to require state agencies that distribute benefit checks to Alabamians to use eligibility verification systems to avoid improper or fraudulent benefits including the U.S. Department of Treasury Bureau of Fiscal Service’s Do Not Pay (identifying deceased persons), LexisNexis Accurint for Government service that is used to locate individuals, verify identity and better detect fraud and the Alabama Department of Corrections.
Retail Theft (SB 288)
SB 288 by Sen. Clyde Chambliss-Defines organized retail theft as people knowingly hiding merchandise in their clothes or body, taking the items out of the retail shop, altering the price of an item without the retailer knowing about it, or a person not scanning the merchandise’s barcode at the self-checkout register. Also included in the language is sabotaging the security device on the item and transferring an item from one container to another. The bill also creates a crime of organized retail theft, involving individuals conspiring to commit retail theft or shoplifting, or receiving stolen property. The bill would make “organized retail theft” a Class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
ESG (SB 261)
SB 261 by Sen. Dan Roberts-Would prohibit any company in the state from engaging in economic boycotts or other actions that further social, political, or ideological interests. Also, the bill would prohibit government entities from entering into public contracts with businesses that engage in economic boycotts.