Tax Reform

Taxes are a tool used to promote the common good. They provide the funding for education, child care, Medicaid, mental health care and other public infrastructure that improves everyone’s quality of life. But Alabama’s outdated tax structure fails to raise enough revenue to support these services, which holds our state back from realizing its full potential.

Alabama’s upside-down tax system also taxes many struggling families deeper into poverty. Low-income families pay twice the share of their income in state and local taxes on average that top earners do. Making that problem worse, Alabama is one of only three states with no tax break on groceries.

Arise has been a leading proponent of tax reform in Alabama for decades, and our analysis and advocacy were crucial in the enactment of a state income tax cut for families in poverty in 2006. Our research continues to show the range of benefits that Alabama would reap by untaxing groceries, ending large tax breaks for rich households and big corporations, and taking other steps to rebalance and modernize its tax system.

Fact Sheet

How the state grocery tax hurts struggling Alabamians

No matter how much or how little money we have, we all have to eat to live. But the share of earnings that people must devote to securing basic survival is not the same for everyone. Food takes a much bigger bite out of the household budget for low-income families than for richer ones. And [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
February 22, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

4 reasons why a new state tax break for private school tuition would hurt public education in Alabama

Update: Arise members stopped this plan in its tracks! After lawmakers received hundreds of emails and phone calls from our supporters opposing this bill, the Senate amended HB 251 on March 14 to remove the language that would have created a tax break for private school tuition. The House agreed to the change on March [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 22, 2018
Author
Kimble Forrister
Fact Sheet

Cigarette tax for Medicaid: A win-win to improve health and fill Alabama’s revenue gap

The future of Alabama Medicaid is on the line as lawmakers consider a threadbare 2017 General Fund budget. Without significant new revenue, Medicaid would not only lose the promising regional care organizations (RCOs) set to launch in October but also would cut vital services and doctor payments. Those cuts could place the Medicaid program itself [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 7, 2016
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

6 things to know about the FICA deduction

The Alabama Legislature may consider removing the state FICA income tax deduction during 2015’s second special session. Without significant new General Fund revenue, the state may make enormous cuts to Medicaid, child care, public safety and other vital services. As lawmakers decide how to address the General Fund shortfall, here are six things to know about [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
September 9, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

7 things to know about the cigarette tax

The Alabama Legislature is considering a cigarette tax increase during 2015’s second special session. Without significant new General Fund revenue, the state may make enormous cuts to Medicaid, child care, public safety and other vital services. As lawmakers decide how to address the General Fund shortfall, here are seven things to know about tobacco taxes.
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
September 9, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Handbook

The Alabama Tax & Budget Handbook

We’re all in this together. All of us – regardless of age, health, wealth, background or location – depend on a network of services from our local, state and national governments. From garbage collection to fire protection, from roads to schools, from public health to public safety, our tax dollars support the daily upkeep of [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
May 1, 2015
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Out of step: Alabama’s unusual state tax system

Taxes are the tools that Americans use to pay for education, public health, transportation and other elements of the common good. But in Alabama, the tax system is upside down, with low- and middle-income people paying twice the share of their income in state and local taxes that the top 1 percent pay. This updated fact [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
April 22, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Earthquake on Goat Hill: How the Alabama Accountability Act passed and what it means

Alabama would provide income tax credits to help subsidize private or religious school tuition for parents of children zoned for "failing schools" beginning this fall if Gov. Robert Bentley signs the plan into law. The House and Senate approved the measure, known as the Alabama Accountability Act, mere hours after it was first introduced on Feb. [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
March 6, 2013
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Ending the state grocery tax and protecting schools

Alabama's tax system is upside down, and the state sales tax on groceries is one reason why. Alabama remains one of only two states -- the other is Mississippi -- with no tax break on groceries. Food costs consume a larger portion of the household budget for low-income families than for those who are better off, so [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 13, 2012
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

A tax on survival: Grocery tax policies in America

Food takes a much bigger bite out of the household budget for low-income families than for richer ones, and sales taxes on groceries thus hit harder at lower incomes. In recognition of this fact, most states either have exempted groceries from state sales taxes entirely or have devised ways to help offset grocery taxes for low-income [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
June 24, 2011
Author
Chris Sanders
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