With a new Congress and Administration in Washington, DC and the beginning of a very different Legislative Session in Montgomery, 2021 is shaping up to be more active legislatively than any time in recent memory. With this in mind, we in Coastal Alabama need to be observant to Federal and state-wide policies and policymakers to make sure our priorities are advanced at home.
As we developed our 2021 Legislative Agenda, we knew that it would be an evolving document and that changes could come at literally overnight. But, with that we want to highlight some of the issues we are focusing on 2021:
Keep Alabama Open • CAP Fully Supports the Business Council of Alabama’s (BCA) “Keep Alabama Open” campaign. CAP fully supports the State of Alabama’s ability and right to manage its own affairs when it comes to the public health and well being of our people.
Many Alabamians depend upon their jobs for their health insurance and the means to support their families: to feed them, pay for medical treatment and medicines, and provide shelter. At the end of the day, a shutdown could not only put Alabamians in severe financial distress; it could also produce adverse health outcomes, even deaths. This threat is particularly acute to small businesses in Coastal Alabama.
Business Liability Protection • As businesses continue to operate safely to serve their community during the pandemic, it is imperative Coastal Alabama businesses operate so without the threat of lawsuits associated with the coronavirus. CAP supports legislation that would permanently mandate Governor Ivey’s Safe Harbor Proclamation, to provide protection against civil liability resulting in contracting the COVID-19.
Removal of State Taxes on Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds • CAP supports legislation to exempt from Alabama state taxes the $1,200 stimulus payments sent by the federal government and state taxes any forgiven loan a small business received under the Paycheck Protection Program.
State of Alabama Historic Tax Credit • CAP supports the extension of the Historic Rehabilitation and Preservation Tax Credit through 2029 for rehabilitation of certified historic structures. Alabama’s Historic Tax Credit law, combined with the Federal Historic Tax Credit, provides great incentive for developers to rehabilitate historic structures which are much more expensive to develop than new construction. Alabama’s income tax mirrors the federal income tax credit that currently exists and over 30 states have enacted similar legislation. The economic impact of this tax credit and the restored buildings has been studied and repeatedly established as generating jobs, expenditures, sales and income taxes, and enhanced ad valorem taxes, all well in excess of the tax credits granted for the projects.
Economic Development Tax Credits • CAP supports the renewals the State of Alabama economic development tax incentives, the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Tax Credits which expired in 2020.
Burdensome Regulations • CAP supports the preservation of jobs and economic growth in all sectors through the reductions of burdensome state and federal regulations that can cause the loss of jobs, hinder growth and create uncertainty.
U.S. Hwy 45 • CAP support efforts to four lane U.S. Hwy 45 from the Mississippi State line to I -65. Four lanes would address numerous safety concerns that currently exist along U.S. Highway 45, which has been called one of the deadliest roads in the state of Alabama. Economically, U.S. Hwy 45 serves as a corridor for the state beach tourists from the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi and also serves as a commerce corridor to the western U.S. for the expanding container terminal at the Alabama State Port. Lastly, adding extra lanes would also provide another hurricane evacuation route that could prove life-saving and necessary for our residents and travelers.
Proposed I-10 Bridge • CAP maintains a commitment for an I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project. CAP demands regional and local leadership to not impede in examining solutions that will increase capacity and traffic safety between Mobile and Baldwin Counties and to continue the economic success of our region.
Mobile Tensaw River Delta • CAP opposes any federalization and management of the Mobile Tensaw River Delta watershed. CAP fully supports local and state management of our crucial Delta habitat. CAP advocates for protecting the many natural resources and the vast biodiversity that the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta enjoys. We will work with our partners and Alabama Delta Alliance to continue to protect these important lands throughout our coastal region.
Apportionment of the First Congressional District • CAP strongly supports preserving the integrity of Alabama’s First Congressional District through the redistricting process. It is crucial that Coastal Alabama—Mobile and Baldwin County remain together as a congressional district to continue its success working together regionally as Alabama’s only coastal counties.