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June 04, 2003   Email to Friend 

SENATE COMMITTEE WEAKENS CURRENT USE
J. Paul Till
(334) 613-4313
June 04, 2003

MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- A Senate Committee voted 7-6 Wednesday to support Governor Bob Riley's tax bill which would dramatically alter the current use property tax provision. If the full Senate goes along, it could mean millions of dollars in additional property taxes on Alabama's farms. The Senate is expected to vote Thursday.

The House on Monday had agreed to an amendment supported by Alabama Farmers Federation and others that would keep current use property tax laws as they are now. However, the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee voted to restore the original Riley plan which alters the current use formula.

Also killed by the Senate committee was a House amendment by Rep. Jeremy Oden, R-Vinemont. That provision would have given farmers a tax exemption on up to $150,000 in assessed value for improvements on farm buildings and facilities. Also stripped from the House version was an amendment to allow farm corporations (such as Limited Liability Entities and Limited Liability Partnerships) along with individuals to utilize the 200 non-contiguous acreage exemption.

Rep. Robert Bentley, R-Tuscaloosa, had sponsored an amendment that was passed by the committee which would allow a farmstead exemption for up to 200 non-contiguous aces.

Roll Call -- Senate Finance and Taxation--Education

A "yes" vote is for the Riley plan; a "no" vote supports keeping the existing current use law.

Yes (7) -- Jeff Enfinger, Quinton Ross, Hank Sanders, Rodger Smitherman, Charles Steele, Vivian Figures, Jabo Waggoner

No (6) -- Tom Butler, Bobby Denton, Ted Little, Del Marsh, Hinton Mitchem, Tommy Ed Roberts

Not Voting (2) -- Jack Biddle, Phil Poole


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