Alabama Senate Democrats propose lottery, casinos, closing corporate tax 'loophole'

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The Democratic Caucus in the Alabama Senate will support legislation for a lottery and casinos as well as one to close "corporate tax loopholes" during the legislation session.

The caucus has released its agenda for the 2017 session, which starts Tuesday.

Senate Democrats would need Republican support to pass any of their proposals because Democrats hold only eight seats in the 35-seat Senate.

Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham, will sponsor a bill to require multi-state companies to use "combined reporting" in filing their state income tax returns. The change would allow the state to collect taxes on income earned in Alabama that is not reported here because of a "loophole," advocates for the change say.

"Small businesses pay their fair share, but it is large businesses that operate within multiple states that don't pay their fair share," Coleman said in a press release "They make money in the state of Alabama, but loopholes allow them to hide and shift that money around."

The Democrats' agenda lists support for a lottery and casinos to support the General Fund and Education Trust Fund. Senate Democrats withdrew their support for Gov. Robert Bentley's lottery proposal last year after the House narrowed the definition to a traditional lottery, excluding the possibility of electronic games at the state's greyhound tracks.

The Democrats say including casinos in a lottery proposal is important because of job creation.

Voters would have to approve a constitutional amendment to allow a lottery or casinos.

Other bills on the agenda:

  • A bill by Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile, proposes a constitutional amendment for a 5-mill increase in the state property tax. A similar bill Figures proposed last year would have generated $280 million a year beginning in 2019.
  • A "ban the box" bill by Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, would allow job applicants to wait until a job is conditionally offered before disclosing their criminal background.
  • A bill by Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, would repeal Alabama's photo voter ID law.
  • A bill by Coleman would allow those with driver's licenses to be automatically registered to vote.
  • A bill by Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, would allow early voting in the days leading up to election day.
  • Another bill by Smitherman would define and prohibit racial profiling.

 

The Senate Republican Caucus also released its agenda today.  

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/02/alabama_senate_democrats_propo.html

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