Week One: ASCPA Bills of Interest

House Bill 170 by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, specifies that federal COVID-19 relief funds received by individuals, businesses or organizations are not subject to state income tax. It also makes other reforms to Alabama’s corporate tax code, including changing the current double weighted sales factor to a single sales factor and making statutory changes that prevent the Trump tax cut law from unnecessarily impacting incentives for new and expanding industry. The bill cleared the House Ways and Means Education Committee Wednesday, passed the full House Thursday by a unanimous vote, and now awaits action in the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee. 

Senate Bill 30 from Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, provides limited liability protection for businesses and other entities from lawsuits related to COVID-19. At the moment, the state is providing such immunity on a short-term basis from Gov. Ivey’s emergency orders, which will eventually expire.  The bill passed the full Senate Thursday by a 27-1 vote and now awaits action in the House Judiciary Committee. 

House Bill 192 by Rep. Bill Poole reauthorizes and revamps the state’s economic development laws. Instead of doing a simple reauthorization of the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Credits, Poole and Secretary or Commerce Greg Canfield are seeking to combine those laws and streamline the entire economic development system. The bill increases the annual caps on the Alabama Jobs Credit and its sister Investment Credit by $25 million in both 2021 and 2022, taking it from $300 million to $350 million. It also increases the cap on the Growing Alabama Credit from $10 million to $20 million. The bill also offers tax breaks to automakers who will ship vehicles out of the Port of Mobile, which is a big deal considering the Alabama Port Authority is building a $60 million automotive terminal that will allow for vehicles to roll on and off of ships. The 57-acre terminal will be able to handle 150,000 vehicles annually with connections to rail service and highways. House Bill 192 passed the full House Thursday by a vote of 94 to 1, with Rep. Andrew Sorrell, R-Muscle Shoals, being the lone no vote. The bill now goes to the Senate where it has been referred to the Finance and Taxation Education Committee.

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