RPAC Montgomery Update: February 2024

The 2024 Alabama legislative session began this month, with multiple bills involving schools and taxes being introduced and working their way through committee. See below for a list of bills relevant to the real estate industry below. Keep in mind that most pieces of legislation do not pass the House or Senate and never become law.

Real Estate, Taxes & Insurance

HB162 by Rep. Lomax: To provide a cap in increases on Class IV property tax assessments under certain conditions (Assigned to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). Companion bill to SB21 below.
 
SB21 by Sen. Givhan: To provide a cap in increases on Class IV property tax assessments under certain conditions (Assigned to Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee). Companion bill to HB 162 above.
 
HB196 by Rep. Ingram: To authorize the Land Commissioner to contract with an online auction company to sell tax-delinquent property in the state’s inventory which has passed the three-year administrative redemption period (Assigned to House State Government).
 
HB198 by Rep. Brown: To create the Alabama Residential Building Code Advisory Council to recommend an Alabama Residential Building Code, to be based upon the International Residential Code and the residential chapters of the International Energy Conservation Code, to be adopted by the Home Builders Licensure Board, require counties and municipalities that enforce residential building laws or codes, when adopting new codes or amending existing codes, to adopt or amend the codes in accordance with the minimum standards set by the Alabama Residential Building Code, and would require residential home builders in this state to build, renovate, and repair residences in accordance with the minimum standards set by the Alabama Residential Building Code (Assigned to House County and Municipal Government Committee).
 
HB8 by Rep. Brown: To require insurers to provide at least 90 days written notice of a property insurance policy cancellation, nonrenewal, or coverage restriction (Assigned to House Insurance Committee).
 
HB17 by Rep. England: To increase the simplified sellers use tax rate from 8% to 9.25%, and to provide for the distribution of the additional tax proceeds to be distributed to local boards of education (Assigned to House Ways and Means Education Committee).
 
HB73 by Phillip Pettus: To provide for a cap on real property tax assessments under certain conditions (Assigned to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).
 
SB62 by Sen. Orr: To provide for a sales and use tax exemption for purchases of certain baby supplies, baby formula, maternity clothing, and menstrual hygiene products (Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee).
 
SB110 by Sen. Sessions: To limit the assessed value of certain real property for ad valorem tax purposes, with exceptions (Assigned to Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).
 
SB3 by Sen. Coleman-Madison: To provide a shortened redemption period for a tax delinquent property that is not acquired by an open market bidder at a tax sale auction, would authorize a local government or a local land bank authority to purchase property at public auction by tendering the minimum bid in the absence of open market bids, and would limit the geographical boundaries of local land bank authority acquisitions (Assigned to Senate County and Municipal Government Committee).

Schools

This month, Governor Ivey gave her annual State of the State address, listing that her top priority this legislative session was a bill called the CHOOSE Act to create Education Saving Accounts which would offer tax credits up to $7,000 per year available to eligible parents to be used for private education, home schooling, or other education purposes.
She is recommending an annual appropriation of $100 million for these accounts. She also announced that she supports allowing the voters to decide if Alabama should have a lottery, a limited amount of casinos, and sports betting. She also announced her support for the expansion of broadband, emphasis on workforce development, election reforms, and teacher pay increases.
Additional legislation addressing education and school security include:
SB98 by Sen. Orr: To establish the School Security Program within the State Department of Education, require periodic inspections of school facilities at public K-12 schools, and to provide criteria for school security inspections (Amended in Senate Education Policy Committee).

 

HB216 by Rep. Treadaway To require each local board of education and the governing body of each charter school to provide each classroom with silent panic alert technology and provide training to certain school employees on the technology (Assigned to House Education Policy Committee). 

 

SB61 by Sen. Orr: To create the CHOOSE Act to establish a refundable income tax credit to offset the cost of qualifying educational expenses, to direct the Department of Revenue to establish education savings accounts through which parents can access funds to direct the education of participating students, and to establish program requirements for parents of participating students, education service providers and participating schools (Public Hearing but no vote in Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee).

Gaming

The House passed comprehensive gaming legislation which would allow casino gaming, sports wagering and a state lottery. HB151 by Representative Chris Blackshear is the Constitutional Amendment that would be voted on by the public to authorize the enterprises in HB152, also by Representative Chris Blackshear, which sets out the specifics. The bills now go to the Senate for consideration. If the Constitutional Amendment is approved by the public, there will regulated, limited forms of gaming along with provisions banning current illegal gaming in the state.

HB151 by Rep. Blackshear: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize an official state lottery, casino-style games, limited sports wagering, traditional raffles, and traditional paper bingo (as amended).
 
HB152 by Rep. Blackshear: To establish the Alabama Gaming Commission, to define the various forms of gaming allowed under the bill, provide for the various gaming licenses, fees, and taxes, establish the Alabama Lottery Corporation, provide for the creation and operation of a state lottery, and provide for the distribution of the various fees and taxes collected (as amended).