Email Insights: Americans for Tax Reform write legislators to oppose franchise bill

Grover Norquist [Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ]

The national group Americans for Tax Reform has weighed in to oppose the “Protect Alabama Small Businesses Act.” This bill, House Bill 352 sponsored by Representative Connie Rowe and Senate Bill 129 by Senator Chris Elliott, passed the senate last week and headed to the House committee on State Government. 

The letter follows more than 80 franchise brands who have also weighed in to oppose the pending legislation, which they say would cost Alabama around $1 billion in lost economic output. That group has set up a website to counter what they call the myths surrounding the legislation. 

Read the letter in full below: 

To: Members of the Alabama House of Representatives From: Americans for Tax Reform

Re: House Bill 352 and Senate Bill 129 (as substituted) Dear Representative,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across Alabama, I urge you to vote NO on HB 352 and SB 129 (as substituted). If you talk to business owners today, many will tell you that the onerous and costly regulations are just as much, if not more of a problem than burdensome taxes. Yet HB 352 and SB 129 would make that problem worse by raising the regulatory cost of doing business in Alabama. Furthermore, this bill is a non-solution in search of a problem.

These companion bills seek to have Alabama state government inappropriately meddle with private contract negotiations between franchisors and franchisees. According to industry estimates, passage of HB 352 and SB 129 would diminish Alabama’s economic output by $1 billion over the next decade.

Enactment of HB 352 or SB 129 could shut off a proven path for Alabama residents to become small business owners, to the detriment of consumers and the economy as a whole. Passage of these bills would send the wrong message about Alabama – that it is hostile to investment, job creation, and commerce – at a time when it is most disadvantageous to send such a message.

A Particularly Important Time to Reduce State Tax & Regulatory Burdens

It’s no coincidence that the U.S. has reclaimed the number one spot on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index following the enactment of federal tax reform that significantly cut federal income tax rates, for both individuals and businesses. It’s clear that many investors, CEOs, and site selectors are bullish on the U.S. relative to other potential destinations for their capital.

Yet once business owners or investors make the decision to bring new capital to or create jobs in the U.S., either by relocating or expanding operations stateside, they then have 50 choices before them when it comes to which state to choose.

That’s why it is more important than ever for state legislators in Alabama to do everything they can to make the state a more attractive place to invest, do business, live, and raise a family. Imposing costly and unnecessary regulations, as HB 352 and SB 129 would do, would work at cross-purposes with that goal and indicate that Alabama is hostile to business.

For these reasons, I urge you to vote NO on HB 352 and SB 129 (as substituted). Americans for Tax Reform will be educating your constituents, who are counting on you to protect their pocketbooks, as to how you and your colleagues vote on this and other important issues. I wish you the best of luck and I thank you for your public service. If you have any questions or if ATR can be of assistance, feel free to contact me or Patrick Gleason, ATR’s vice president of state affairs, at or 202-785-0266.


Grover G. Norquist President
Americans for Tax Reform