ACPP in the News
A House committee Wednesday approved a bill that would allow individuals and businesses to compare and [purchase] insurance plans. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Greg Wren, R-Montgomery, would create a board charged with creating a state health insurance exchange, a hub where those shopping for health insurance could compare prices and options among different plans.
If you care for a glimpse of Alabama's future, I have some advice. Come to my house. During school hours. Bring chalk.
Anniston Star commentary editor Philip Tutor sees future Alabama leaders -- including the next Kimble Forrister -- in today's schoolchildren at play on his sidewalk.
Call it like it is: By being one of only two states to tax groceries, Alabama casts a devilish glance at the state's poorest residents and says, coldly, "We don't care about you."
Once upon a time six years ago, the Legislature, prodded by a governor and shamed by a tax study, actually took a baby step toward tax fairness.
We know this year there will be no tax-fairness prodding from a governor, because Gov. Robert Bentley would sooner push for President Barack Obama's re-election in November than propose a tax increase. If we have to rely on legislative shame, is there any to be found?
Almost a quarter-century ago, The Birmingham News began an editorial series with this simple declaration: Alabama's taxes are unfair.
We have spent decades advocating for comprehensive tax reform, for rebuilding a revenue-collection system that has proved to be inefficient and inadequate, as well as unfair. We have made very little progress. The biggest step toward tax fairness was a long-overdue adjustment to the income tax that raised the threshold at which we begin taxing income.
While comprehensive tax reform remains elusive, the Legislature again this year has an opportunity to distribute the tax burden more fairly.
Leaders of Alabama Arise today called on lawmakers to pass a plan that would let voters decide whether to erase the 4-percent state sales tax on groceries and over-the-counter drugs, which would save taxpayers an estimated $326 million a year. But the plan also would erase part of the state constitution that lets individuals deduct from their taxable state income the federaly income taxes they paid, which would boost state income tax collections by an estimated $485 million a year. The net tax increase of $159 million a year would go to the Education Trust Fund.
The chairman of the House Ways and Means General Fund committee thinks the state could reduce Medicaid costs by putting the Alabama Medicaid Agency in the hands of a private firm. The proposal has drawn criticism from physicians' groups and an advocacy group for low-income Alabamians, both of which say there's nothing left to cut in Medicaid except essential care.
The national debate over the fairness of payday loans will come to Birmingham on Thursday when the federal government's new watchdog agency for consumer finance holds its first hearing at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
This Birmingham News article highlights ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson's perspective on payday loans in Alabama, which he calls the "Wild West" of the predatory lending industry.
There is a sad truth in Alabama: When it comes to state's tax fairness, too many have little for which they're thankful. That's a solemn thought during the holiday season. This Anniston Star editorial cites ACPP's analysis of Alabama's upside-down tax system.
The drop in Alabama's unemployment rate in October has sparked debate about the impact of the immigration law on the state's job market. This Birmingham Business Journal article cites ACPP's analysis.