TEI has submitted two letters to legislators in Alabama supporting bills that would establish an independent tax tribunal in Alabama. With Georgia passing legislation earlier this year creating an independent tax tribunal, Alabama now finds itself in the minority of states in the region without an impartial forum for appealing decisions of the state department of revenue.
Bruce Ely, of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Birmingham, Alabama provided an update on the bills working their way through the Alabama legislature. To help push this important legislation through the legislative process, companies with operations in Alabama are strongly encouraged to contact their state legislators and local industry associations and chambers of commerce urging passage of the measure.
Update from Bruce Ely:
In order to keep the momentum going and because we’re running out of legislative meeting days (again), we convinced our friends on Senator Paul Sanford’s Job Creation Committee to hold their noses and vote in favor of his last minute substitute to Rep. DeMarco’s substitute to HB 105. It passed 6-0 this afternoon (May 2, 2012), but with several members pointing out that amendments need to be made. Even Sanford admitted that his bill wasn’t perfect and he expects amendments.
For example (and you’ll love this), Sanford’s bill shifts the burden of proof on assessments AND appeals from the taxpayer to the ADOR, even if the ADOR won at the lower level. Several of us tried to talk him out of that one, but he refused. But he also listened to Commissioner Magee, since his bill repeals the ATAC judge nominating committee (her major source of heartburn), shortens the number of years of required SALT experience to only FIVE, and makes the judge stand for re-nomination and confirmation every 6 years, ala’ our circuit court judges.
There are 8-9 other changes he proposes but we are now reasonably confident that we can strip most if not all of them out, either on the Senate floor or in conference committee.