Second Special Session
Governor Robert Bentley announces today that the second special session to try to resolve the state’s General Fund shortfall of at least $200 million will begin next Tuesday. Bentley has been advocating for $300 million in new taxes. His preliminary tax increase proposals discussed publicly in recent weeks are similar to ideas that failed in last month’s first special session. The largest components include transferring the use tax revenue, worth about $225 million, from the Education Trust Fund to the General Fund. It would be replaced with about $180 million in new revenue created by eliminating Alabamians’ state income tax deduction on Social Security withholding taxes paid. He also wants a business privilege tax increase on the state’s largest corporations, worth about $30 million, and a 25-cent-a-pack cigarette tax that would be phased in over two years. Special sessions can be up to 12 working days stretched over 30 calendar days. Special sessions cost an estimated $320,000. The 2016 fiscal year begins October 1.