By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Office of the Senate Pro Tem released a written statement announcing that committees in both the Alabama House and Senate passed legislation streamlining the process for businesses to file certain tax returns with cities and counties across the state.
The statement says that the bill is endorsed by both: Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh’s Initiative to Streamline Government and House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s Commission on Job Creation.
Senate Bill 459 is sponsored by Senator Slade Blackwell. It was approved by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. Sen. Blackwell (R) from Mountain Brook said, “This bill could be one of the most important, pro-business items of legislation that the Legislature passes this year.” “Small businesses have been pushing for this reform for years and I’m proud to sponsor this bill that will make the filing process more efficient.”
The House version, House Bill 597, is being sponsored by Representative Jack Williams (R) from Vestavia. The bill received a favorable report from the House Commerce and Small Business Committee. Rep. Williams said, “The single point filing system is a business-friendly approach to filing these tax returns. The state should be leading the effort toward making compliance as easy as possible for those trying to comply with our state tax code. That’s exactly what we’re doing with this bill.”
According to the written statement, “Under current law, taxpayers doing business in more than one municipality or county in Alabama must file separate tax returns with each of those local taxing jurisdictions as well as the Alabama Department of Revenue. The legislation creates an electronic single point of filing system that will be made available for filing and remitting various state and local business taxes. The system, known as ONE SPOT – Optional Network Election for Single Point Online Transactions, will be administered by the Alabama Department of Revenue and available for use by both taxpayers and Alabama municipalities and counties at no cost.”
Senator Marsh (R) from Anniston said that this legislation is a giant step toward streamlining the way businesses interface with state and local government. “We are placing a huge administrative burden on businesses by requiring them to file what could be hundreds of separate tax returns with cities and counties across the state. This is a common sense solution and is a perfect example of how we can streamline government operations to better serve Alabama taxpayers. I want to thank the members of the Initiative to Streamline Government’s Tax and Regulatory Study Committee, including Senator Blackwell, who chaired that committee, and Representative Williams for working to solve this issue.”
Speaker Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn said, “Working to eliminate government red tape will promote growth in Alabama’s private sector economy. When we travelled the state asking business owners what was hindering them from growing their businesses and hiring more workers, almost everyone pointed to bureaucratic red tape. The layered system businesses have to navigate for filing city and state taxes defines red tape, and it’s about time we did something about it. I’m proud to work together with Senate President Pro Tem Marsh and the bill sponsors on a common sense reform that will boost job growth and make government more efficient all that the same time.”