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Marsh prefiles bill to allow donations for border wall on state income tax returns

State Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, R-Anniston, has prefiled a bill which would allow taxpayers to check a box on their Alabama tax returns to donate to We Build the Wall, Inc.

Under this proposal, if an individual wishes to donate to We Build the Wall they will be able to check a box on their state income tax return and designate the amount of their tax return they wished to donate.

Currently, Alabamians already have the ability to check off contributions on their tax returns for many different entities including: the Alabama 4-H, Alabama Aging program, Arts Development Fund, and USS Alabama Battleship Commission.

“As I talk to people in my district and around the state, border security is the number one thing I hear about,” Marsh said. “This is obviously an issue that has people very concerned and one that needs to be addressed.”

“It is obvious that many people in the Federal government have little desire to address border security, so this is an easy way for people in Alabama, if they choose, to check a box and make a donation in support of building a border wall,” Marsh said.

We Build the Wall Inc. is the non-profit which was created by Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage to raise money to build the wall along the United States border with Mexico for national security purposes.

Brian Kolfage was born in Detroit and grew up in Waikiki, Hawaii. He joined the U.S. Air Force and went to Iraq in 2003. He performed security for high profile missions in direct support of IRAQI FREEDOM where he performed high risk combat convoy security operations. On September 11, 2004, during his second tour, his airbase in Balad, Iraq fell under rocket attack. He was thrown into the air, losing both of his legs and his right arm instantly. He miraculously survived and walked out of Walter Reed Medical Center only 11 months after being injured. In 2005-2007 he worked as a United States Air Force civilian overseeing personnel security by administering the foreign travel program. In 2017, Mr. Kolfage cofounded Military Grade Coffee Company which became a top 50 grocery product on Amazon in 1 year. He worked on Congresswoman Gabby Gifford’s Veterans Advisory Committee, from 2009- 2011. Mr. Kolfage is the most severely wounded Airman to survive any war. In 2014, he earned his bachelor’s in architecture design at the University of Arizona.

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Kolfage started a GoFundMe account to raise money for the border wall on the U.S./Mexico border. After raising $21 million he started We Build the Wall Inc. to continue the effort. He hopes to begin building the wall on private property this month.

GoFundMe has said money donated to the page will likely be refunded.

Del Marsh is the leader of the Alabama Senate and one of the three most powerful people in Alabama government. Marsh has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones (D).

The 2019 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature begins on March 5th.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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