Last month, State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) called for tax rebates as a response to the record revenue coming in to the Education Trust Fund.
After July, the ETF had $9.7 billion available, well above its total yearly obligations of $9 billion.
Tuesday, House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) said on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program” he could support a one-time tax rebate for Alabamians.
“I think that’s not a bad idea,” Ledbetter said. “I had a chance to sit down with the House ETF Chairman last week. We had a good long conversation like that. He feels comfortable doing that.”
The House GOP leader said it should be a one-time rebate instead of a permanent change.
“[T]he economy is not going to stay like it is,” he said. “We’ve been flush with federal money in the state – something like $60 billion has been dropped into our state over the last two years, and we’re not going to have the revenue going forward. So, I think a one-time deal, giving rebates, I’m not opposed to that.
“Matter of fact I think it’s a good idea and something that I could support.”
Ledbetter said there may be opportunities for permanent tax cuts, but doesn’t want the Legislature to go overboard since the federal pandemic money the state received will not last forever.
“What I don’t want us to go is get us behind the eight-ball,” he said. “I’m not going to say I’m not for that … I think there are some opportunities. Last session, we cut $166 million, we cut 75% of the small business tax on personal property tax, which I think is a huge deal for small businesses in our state. I do think there are some opportunities.
“It’s finding where it’s going to hurt us less going forward because, again, I think we’re flush because what’s happened with the federal government putting so much money into the state … but we’ve got to make sure we’ve got enough money going forward to operate our schools and to run our agencies.”
Ledbetter said a tax rebate could help Alabamians in these tough economic times.
“I think Sen. Orr and Rep. (Danny) Garrett (R-Trussville) have been having those conversations in trying to find a place, find a place for it where we can do that and send money back to the hardworking people of Alabama,” he said. “I think they deserve it … this year they kind of took a hit with gas prices and things like that and I think it’s be a welcome return.”