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Givhan: No appetite for tax rebates in Legislature

Although Gov. Kay Ivey called for tax rebates during her State of the State speech Tuesday, some in the Legislature aren’t sure if that has a chance of passing this session.

Ivey said she wants “one-time rebates of $400,” which means “$800 for our working families.”

Thursday on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) said he’s not sure Ivey’s rebate proposal has enough support from Alabama lawmakers to pass.

“There’s no polling in the Legislature on that,” Givhan said, “and I don’t see the appetite. Now whether the Speaker starts whipping people in the House in place, maybe that happens, but I don’t see the appetite in the Senate. I think there’s truly low appetite for that in the House of Representatives.”

The state senator said their are too many lawmakers who prefer some kind of permanent tax cut over a one-time rebate.

“There’s a large contingent that wants nothing in terms of rebates,” he said. “They want either permanent or at least temporary tax relief across the board.”

Givhan said pausing or cutting the grocery tax is a better plan to help taxpayers in the state.

“Maybe we sunset it four years and it kicks back in, give the people a chance to start beating the drum saying ‘hey we want this permanent,'” he said. “That would open the door for that, I think. That’s the relief that people need right now, I think, across the board is if we can do something on the food tax, even if it’s just for four years.”

Givhan is not the only lawmaker is showing support for permanent tax cuts over rebates, as Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said as much this week.

“I’ve been on the record that I support tax cuts over rebates,” Ainsworth said, “but certainly I want to look over and study it and find out. We just got the information last night, the details, so I need to look over that before I can give a final opinion, but in general … I think we’ve got to do tax cuts instead of a one-time rebate.”

When is comes to Ivey’s proposal on rebates, Givhan said he’s just is not hearing any real support for it.

“Rebates are way overblown in the Legislature with people I’m talking to,” he said. “I don’t see that there.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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