State Rep. Chip Brown, R – Hollinger’s Island, announced on Thursday that Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law his legislation that provides historic and much-needed tax cuts and exemptions to commercial fishing businesses operating throughout Alabama’s Gulf Coast region.
“Enacting my bill into law finally rectifies a lingering injustice and allows commercial seafood operations to utilize the same tax exemptions that are currently provided to other agricultural operations,” Brown said. “Fishing operations in our area are the farmers of the Gulf, and they simply harvest the food we eat from water, not land, so fairness demands we provide them the same exemptions that others in the agriculture industry enjoy.”
Among the provisions of Brown’s measure, which will take effect on January 1, 2023 and was carried in the Senate by Sen. David Sessions, R – Grand Bay, are:
Current Alabama law provides an ad valorem tax exemption only to vessels used in the commercial shrimping industry, but Brown’s billwould extend it to all forms of commercial fishing, including oyster farms operating within the state.
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.