By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, January 16th the Alabama House of Representatives passed its second plank in the House Republican Caucus’ Commonsense Conservative Agenda.
The bill was sponsored by state Representative Jim Patterson (R) from Meridianville. In a written statement released by the Alabama House Republican Caucus Rep. Patterson praised the Alabama House for its passage of the “Tax Elimination Act” and called on the State Senate to take quick action on the bill when it reaches the floor there.
The House approved the measure unanimously with a 96 to 0 vote.
The bill is part of the House Republican Caucus’ Commonsense Conservative Agenda revealed several weeks before the start of the 2014 session. The bill gives the Alabama Department of Revenue with the authority to suspend taxes and fees when the cost of collecting the tax exceeds the amount of revenue it brings in.
Rep. Patterson said in a written statement, “While Barack Obama and congressional Democrats on the federal level continue looking for ways to increase the tax burden on Americans, the members of the Alabama Legislature have refused to pass or even consider a single new state tax since the current term began. My bill takes the ‘no new taxes’ pledge a step further by doing away with current taxes already on the books that commonsense and simple economics indicate we shouldn’t be collecting in the first place.”
Rep. Mack Butler (R) from Rainbow City said on Facebook Thursday, “Tax Elimination Act just passed the House of Representatives. This will suspend collection of a tax or fee if the cost to collect is greater than what is owed. Believe it or not but this is projected to save money.”
Patterson said in his statement that the rules pertaining to ADOR’s authority to suspend taxes would be reviewed by the Legislative Council, and the department would be required to inspect them every five years, as well. If a future determination reveals that the cost of collecting a tax no longer exceeded its revenue, its suspension would be lifted.
Patterson’s Tax Elimination Act is part of a set of bills prioritized in the House Republican Caucus’ Commonsense Conservative Agenda. According to the Caucus their agenda, “Includes pro-business, economic development, and tax relief measures, as well as other bills addressing important social issues like protecting unborn life and preserving personal religious and moral freedoms from federal mandates.”
The bill now moves to the Alabama State Senate for consideration.