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Mining Bill Receives Joint Conference Committee Approval

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, the Joint Conference Committee working on HB144 was reconvened to finalize details regarding the substitute to the bill.

The committee consisted of House Conferees Representatives Bill Roberts (R-Jasper), Rod Scott (D-Fairfield) and Barry Mask (R-Wetumpka); and Senate Conferees Senators Greg Reed (R-Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Winston), Trip Pitman (R-Daphne) and President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston).

The substitute concerns incentives for mining companies that is estimated to bring 450 immediate jobs to North Tuscaloosa County along with 1,000 construction jobs.

Changes to the original bill include that the companies non-educational taxes cap out at 50 percent. The companies can take this at an accelerated rate to jumpstart programs or they can take it over an extended period of time, i.e. 50 percent in the first year or 5 percent over 10 years.

In Sections 3 and 4, a sunset rule of 2 years was set and can only be extended by a joint resolution of the committee.

Also, some additional reporting provisions were added.

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All six joint committee members signed their approval to the substitute.

“I am excited about the agreement on House Bill 144. It is going to, in my opinion, immediately create up to 500 jobs in Alabama. This session is all about job creation. Working with the House, I am just excited this is just an example of what we told the people we were going to do and that is create jobs,” said Marsh.

Mask added, “I just want to echo what Senator Marsh said. The Conference Committee worked well and we worked out some details and I think we have a better bill. This is the way it ought to work.”

The bill will now be sent to Governor Bentley.

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