Debate continues on tax-increase options to avert budget shortage

Alabama State House

The House’s General Fund budget committee held public hearings Tuesday on several proposals to overcome the state budget shortfall.

The committee heard testimony on legislation to increase taxes on cigarettes, car sales, and car rentals along with two proposals to cut state employee pay through furloughs or by canceling annual bonuses.

The House panel will reconvene Wednesday to vote on the proposals. Gov. Robert Bentley has urged lawmakers to pass a set of tax increases in order to boost revenue to the General Fund and avoid a $541 million budget shortfall.

According to coverage by the Montgomery Advertiser, most of Bentley’s proposals are stalled because Republican legislators remain unwilling to show public support for tax increases.

On Monday, the governor threatened to call a Special Session of the Legislature if lawmakers fail to approve his plan to increase revenue to the General Fund.