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Chip Brown pre-files bill to provide tax cuts to Gulf Coast commercial fishermen

Bait, equipment and materials used by the commercial fishing industry would be exempt from both sales and use taxes under Brown’s legislation.

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State Representative Chip Brown, R-Hollinger’s Island, has announced that he has pre-filed legislation that will provide historic and much-needed tax cuts and exemptions to commercial fishing businesses operating throughout Alabama’s Gulf Coast region.

“Alabama law currently provides the agricultural industry with tax exemptions and other benefits that are not currently extended to commercial fishing ventures, which operate, in essence, as the farmers of the Gulf of Mexico,” Brown said. “Simple fairness demands that commercial fishing  businesses should enjoy the exact same tax benefits as the rest of the agriculture industry, and my  bill simply corrects an inequity that has existed for far too long.”

Among the provisions of House Bill 10 are:

  • Current Alabama law provides an ad valorem tax exemption only to vessels used in the commercial shrimping industry, but Brown’s bill would extend it to include all forms of commercial fishing.
  • Bait, equipment, and materials used by the commercial fishing industry would be exempt from both sales and use taxes under Brown’s legislation.
  • The sales tax on purchases of commercial fishing vessels and the equipment and machinery used upon them would be reduced to one-and-a-half percent, which is the same rate levied upon purchases of farming and agricultural equipment.
  • The excise tax on the “storage, use, or other consumption” of commercial fishing vessels and machinery would be reduced to one-and-a-half percent, which is the same rate levied upon the rest of the agricultural industry.
  • If passed by the Legislature and signed into law during the 2022 Legular Session, which is scheduled to convene at the Alabama Statehouse on Jan. 11, 2022, Brown’s bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

The legislation also applies to commercial oyster farms operating in Alabama.

The bill has been numbered as House Bill 10.

Brown represents House District 105, which consists of the Mobile County communities of Grand Bay, St. Elmo, Irvington, Theodore, Hollingers Island, Mon Louis Island, Dog River, Fowl River and Coden along with Town of Dauphin Island and the City of Bayou La Batre. This area includes much of Alabama’s coastal fishing industry. HD105 will be reapportioned and redistricted prior to the 2022 election like the rest of the legislative districts.

Brown is a business owner, realtor and entrepreneur.

Brown is a disabled veteran. He joined the Alabama Army National Guard after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Brown served in both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and was injured in training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

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He serves on the Rules Committee, Insurance Committee, Economic Development and Insurance Committee, Urban and Rural Development and Mobile Local Legislation Committee. Brown also serves a member of the House Republican Caucus Audit Committee and is a member of the Energy Council, Sportsman’s Caucus and Rural Caucus.

Brown is a former chairman of the board for the Make A Wish Foundation of Alabama and for several years has volunteered his time serving as a youth baseball, football, soccer and basketball coach.

Brown has a bachelor’s degree from Troy State University. He also is a graduate of the Defense Department Information School and has a master’s degree from National University.

The 2022 regular session will begin in January. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey will call the Legislature into a special session on Sept. 27 to consider her prison construction plan. Ivey is proposing building two new mega prisons for men and a new prison for women – replacing the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women constructed in 1942.

Written By

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

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