Bill to make Forever Wild pay property taxes gets favorable report from House committee

February 8, 2018

By Brandon Moseley 
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, the Alabama House State Government Committee voted to give a favorable report to a bill that would make lands held by the Forever Wild program pay property taxes.

The bill’s sponsor is state Government Committee Chairman Mark Tuggle, R-Alexander City.

Chairman Tuggle said that House Bill 362 is a constitutional amendment, so it has to be voted on by the people of Alabama to go into effect.

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Congressman Jim Martin has died

October 31, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, former U.S. Rep. James Douglas “Jim” Martin has died.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said in a statement, “Congressman Jim Martin was a great asset to our state. He lived a long life dedicated to serving Alabama in various roles. He was elected to Congress as a Republican in 1965 for one term until 1967. At the time, he was the first Republican elected to that role in over 70 years. Prior to his time in Washington, Congressman Martin was an Army veteran and served under General Patton in World War II.”

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Conservation Alabama pleased with Legislative Session

May 24, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, May 18, 2017 Conservation Alabama announced in their newsletter that they had successfully blocked legislation that would have taxed the land holdings of Forever Wild.

Executive Director Tammy Herrington said in a statement, “The 2017 Legislative session will end this week. Almost 9,000 emails and letters have been sent to elected officials demanding protection of Forever Wild and telling legislators to Vote NO on House Bill 502. Thanks to your overwhelming support, HB 502 has stalled and a local bill requiring property taxes for Forever Wild lands purchased in Coosa County was defeated in the State Senate.”
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We have to require our leaders to do the right thing

March 8, 2017

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

Don’t say I never say anything good about the Alabama Legislature.

OK, maybe it doesn’t happen often, but it happens. Over the years, the Legislature passed and voters ratified the amendment setting up the Forever Wild land preservation program. Lawmakers in 2010 passed tough new ethics laws that eventually led to disgraced former House Speaker Mike Hubbard being convicted of corruption and thrown out of office.
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State Parks Are Polling Supporters

August 27, 2015

 

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

As Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) has begun preparing for a second Special Session in which he is expected to once again attempt to convince Republican legislators to abandon their no new taxes pledges to voters and adopt the Governor’s unpopular tax increase plan.

Perhaps as part of that effort, the Alabama state park system has sent out emails to its supporters with an interesting poll question.  The poll asks: “Your park system in Alabama annually experiences 4 to 5 million visitor occurrences, and benefits our state’s local and regional economies through a $375 million economic impact each year. In recent years, park customers have provided about 90 percent of the park system’s annual funding through visitor/user fees at the parks and park facilities, with the remaining 10 percent coming from the legislature in the form of Use Tax and Cigarette Tax earmarks for maintenance and basic program administration that are provided to State Parks by previously established laws.”
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Explanation of the Statewide Amendments on the November 2012 Ballot

October 29, 2012

By Mike Hubbard

1. Forever Wild Reauthorization –Ratification of this amendment would reauthorize distributions from the Alabama Trust Fund to the Forever Wild Land Trust for the next twenty years, ending in FY 2032. Under current law, ten percent of the income earned from the invested assets of the Alabama Trust Fund is transferred to the Forever Wild Land Trust to purchase public recreational lands. The authorization for this transfer, however, is due to expire soon. For your information, total transfers from the Alabama Trust Fund are capped at $15 million annually, and equaled approximately $10 million last year. Additionally, the provisions of the Constitutional Amendment that created the Forever Wild Land Trust, Amendment 543, would not be changed, meaning trust-owned land would continue to be purchased only from willing sellers, and the program would continue to have no condemnation powers.
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NRA Endorses Forever Wild

October 26, 2012

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The nation’s oldest and largest gun rights group, the National Rifleman’s Association is urging that its many members and supporters vote “YES” on Amendment 1 to Continue Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust.

The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) in their endorsement said, “Sportsmen have benefited immensely from this critical program, opening up tens of thousands of acres teeming with wildlife.  At a time when finding places to hunt is more and more difficult for many sportsmen, the acquisition of public hunting land is essential to the preservation of our hunting heritage.  Specific language in the constitutional amendment designating that the lands acquired should provide for hunting opportunities.”
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Alabama’s Forever Wild Falls Under Cloud of Suspicion? (Update/Correction)

December 18, 2011

Staff Report

Established in 1992, the Alabama Forever Wild Trust Fund has been considered by many to be one the most successful and popular legislations in more than 25 years.
Conversely, growing choirs of dissenters question the continuation of the program calling it a waste of money and a job-killer.
Reauthorization of the program will on the November 6, 2012, ballot.
Almost a year away and yet a small war has been growing between those who would preserve the program and those who would see its demise.
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