Alabama families paying too much in taxes

April 27, 2012 chris
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  For the 136 years that Alabama Democrats led our state, we had the lowest taxes in the nation. Even today, Alabama collects fewer dollars in state and local taxes per person than any other place in the nation.

Yet, Alabama does not have the lowest taxes for everyone. If, for example, you work for $10 to $15 an hour, you pay more of your income in taxes than nearly anybody else in nation.

How can Alabama have the lowest tax rate in the nation if working families still have to pay a larger share of their income in taxes than families in other states?

First and foremost Alabama is one of only two states that taxes groceries, and that hurts everybody, especially working families.

It’s time we eliminate the tax on food and over-the-counter medicine. It is immoral, unfair, and hurts Alabama families. Repealing the grocery tax will not only ease the burden on working families, it will also allow those families to have more money to spend at other businesses, thereby growing other parts of our state’s economy and quickening our economic recovery.

Alabama Democrats have fought for years to eliminate the tax on groceries and medicine, and this session is no different. Every year, Rep. John Knight, a Democrat from Montgomery, has introduced legislation that would repeal the grocery tax. Unfortunately, the Republican Supermajority in Montgomery opposes this bill and refuses to bring it up for a vote.

Another reason that Alabama families are paying too much in taxes is because the Republican Supermajority in Montgomery is protecting tax loopholes that only benefit multinational corporations like ExxonMobile. These multinational corporations pay little – and in many cases zero – state income taxes. This is not only unfair to the working families of Alabama, it is also unfair to the Alabama businesses and business owners who are paying their taxes while these multinational corporations have more resources and fewer taxes.

There have been several Democratic bills introduced in the House to start closing these loopholes and make major corporations pay their fair share. It is important to note that every penny of the state income tax goes to education, and when big out-of-state companies use loopholes to dodge taxes, it hurts local schools. 

Yet, the Republican Supermajority has refused to close these tax loopholes. In fact, at a time when we have had to cut millions of dollars from our schools and programs such as Medicaid, the Republican Supermajority has chosen to pass more tax cuts that only benefit large corporations.

Alabama families should not have to subsidize the income of corporate executives at multinational corporations. 

It is time to end the tax on groceries and over-the-counter medication and demand that multinational corporations pay the same taxes that Alabama families and businesses have to pay.