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Orr: Ivey ‘very committed’ to tax rebates

The Alabama Legislature passed a tax rebate bill Thursday, fulfilling one of Gov. Kay Ivey’s main priorities for this legislative session.

The legislation, brought by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), approved $150 tax rebates for individuals and $300 for couples who filed state income tax returns in 2021.

During her State of the State Address this year, Ivey proposed $400 for individuals and $800 for couples. The amount went through several changes before the Legislature came to an agreement Thursday night.

Orr reacted to the passage of the bill Friday on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show.”

“The experience was, as you know, it went down when it passed the Senate, it went back up when it passed the House … the conference committee agreed to split the difference and just move forward,” Orr said. “You get to a point of diminishing returns in the process where both sides are 50-50 of the equation and there has to be some give. So if you want to just split the baby in half, that’s usually just the easiest course of action in situations like that.”

The lawmaker admitted Ivey was influential in pushing for some kind of rebate being passed this session.

“There were conversations and her position was very clear,” Orr said. “She felt strongly about the rebate, knew that perhaps her original amount would not be the amount that ended the finish line, but there was certainly a minimum there, so we tried to accommodate that. And at that point it certainly moved forward …

“She was very committed to the rebates and wanting something to happen and a decent amount to go back to the people of Alabama.”

Orr said now the Legislature will need to make some tough decisions on some of the other tax cut bills being proposed this year.

“[Y]ou have the log jam … of bills that are sitting in my committee,” he said. “Tax credits, tax exemptions, etc. You’ve got a good bill, Representative Daniels has a very good bill to exempt overtime pay for three years, but where do you draw the line? You can’t give it all away, then we won’t be able to educate all the children and do what we need to do.

“I think there needs to be a cold show in Montgomery to wake people up. We’ve got some serious calculating to do and some serious decision making to do.”

The rebate bill goes to Ivey to be signed into law.

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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