Subcontractor's Association of Alabama

Prepared for SubAla by Miller Development Group


*NOTE: Update regarding specific legislation being proposed by SubAla is
located at the end of this email.

SubAla Weighs In On Taxpayer Bill Of Rights


As a member of the Business Association Tax Coalition SubAla joined other
associations in lending support for HB264 by Rep. Paul DeMarco that revises
the current tax appeal process in the state by streamlining it and making it
an independent entity of the government. The bill would shift the
appropriation, personnel, equipment, and tax appeal functions of the
Administrative Law Division of the Department of Revenue to the created
Alabama Tax Appeals Commission. HB264 will provide uniform and fair
treatment to all Alabama taxpayers, improve the state's business climate and
save both administrative and legal costs for the average taxpayer who wishes
to challenge a tax assessment. It is a revenue neutral agreed upon revision
of landmark legislation to centralize Alabama's tax appeal process and makes
it independent of government taxing authorities.


Among the provisions of the bill it will allow taxpayers to appeal
assessments of sales, use, rental or lodging tax from self-administered
cities and counties and their contract auditing firms to ATAC, unless the
governing body or city opts out. Currently if a taxpayer appeals an
assessment levied by a self-administered locality, the appeal is often heard
by an employee of a certain contract auditing firm employed by the same
self-administered cities and counties making the assessments; or the
taxpayer must appeal to each and every city and county represented by the
contract auditing firm. The bill also creates the Alabama Tax Appeals
Commission (ATAC), by transferring the functions of the current
administrative Law Division of the Department of Revenue to the new
independent agency at no additional cost to the state. Further, the bill
extends the appeal period for both preliminary and final assessment by 30
days, increasing it to 60 days after the assessment is issued. The
additional 30 days does not apply to individuals who file their state income
tax returns late.


Construction Manager At Risk Bill Draws Controversy


As if tensions were not high enough among legislators additional fireworks
erupted in the halls of the Alabama legislature this week when ABC had
Senator Slade Blackwell drop in SB289. In addition to any existing
design-bid-build project delivery method, this bill would provide awarding
authorities the alternatives of selecting a construction manager at risk or
a design-builder, would specify that a construction manager at risk or a
design-builder assumes the risk for construction, rehabilitation,
alteration, or repair of a public works project at the contracted price, and
would provide for the selection of all contractors and subcontractors
necessary to complete the public works project by the construction manager
at risk or design-build process.


While opposition to the bill was expected, the AGC's unwillingness to even
discuss or take an amendment turned heads. The bill was slated for an
agenda on Thursday but was cancelled due to some feedback needed from the
architect industry. It could be heard as early as next week.


SubAla Meets With Legislators On Roofing Concerns


In response to draft legislation from the state of Mississippi, SubAla
discussed the merits of such legislation in Alabama. Efforts to provide
positive roofing legislation for Alabama are underway by Rep. Steve McMillan
from Baldwin County. Rep. McMillan agreed that SubAla's input is vital
going forward and will invite Bruce McCrory along with David Campbell to
become a part of any discussions on the subject.


Open And Fair Competition In Government Bill

Clears Committee Hurdle Without Public Hearing


SubAla was on deck at the State Government Committee to show support for
HB50 by Rep. Williams, the Fair and Open Governmental Construction Act. The
bill would prohibit public agencies from specifying bids designed to only be
given to union shops but would promote fair competition from both non union
and union companies. A Public Hearing was called on the bill but there were
no attendees present who spoke in opposition of the bill. A robust
discussion ensued from several legislators regarding wages of union and non
union workers. A member of the committee, Rep. Nodgren of Gadsden explained
that her spouse worked in construction and his wages were extremely
competitive. This testimony won the approval of the committee and the bill
was given a favorable report. It was read the second time and is eligible
for final House passage. Two amendments were added that put the bill in
line with others in the country.

This legislation appears to be a national initiative by ABC.


No Property Tax For Business Equipment And Furniture Could

Help Business But Hurt Government


SB281, by Sen. Shadrack McGill, requires the Department of Revenue to
recalculate the composite factors for business personal property, so that
eventually no property tax would be due on business equipment and furniture.
According to the sponsor, he introduced the bill this year because business
owners in his district told him they weren't going to buy any new equipment
because of the taxes that would be owed on that equipment in perpetuity.
The fiscal note from a similar bill that he introduced last year said such a
law would reduce state ad valorem collections by an estimated $740,000


Firearms Bill Modified But Remains Problematic

With Many Groups


SB286 was reintroduced by Senator Scott Beason with the following
provisions: It allows employers to forbid employees to carry firearms while
working, either on or off the employer's property, BUT bans employers from
having policies that keep lawful gun owners from storing firearms in their
parked vehicles on workplace property as long as the firearm stays locked
out of sight in their vehicle in the parking lot. It forbids an employer
from asking an employee if he/she has a firearm stored in their vehicle. It
also removes the requirement to obtain a pistol permit to carry a pistol in
a vehicle. Further the bill requires sheriffs to issue or deny carrying
permits within 30 days of application and receipt of fees and provide those
denied a carrying permit with written reasons for the denial. The bill
allows a permit to carry a concealed pistol to be good for one to five years
as preferred by the person seeking the carry permit. The bill also lays out
the reasons sheriffs can deny a carry permit.


Unemployment Inquiries Costly To Employers


On a 4-1 vote, the Senate Business and Labor approved SB201 by Sen. Paul
Bussman, under which an employer's failure to respond promptly or adequately
to the state when questioned about an unemployment claim could result in any
consequent overpayment of claims being charged against the employers'
account. Employers who have failed to respond in a timely fashion or
adequately two or more times could see a decline in their unemployment
compensation account, under this bill. SubAla will continue to monitor the


Healthcare Rights Of Conscience Legislation Returns


Lawmakers introduced companion legislation to give healthcare providers the
right to refuse to perform or participate in healthcare services that
violate their conscience. HB354 was sponsored by Rep. April Weaver, and
SB251was sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward.


Under this legislation, an employer would not be able to discriminate
against or discipline an employee for refusing to perform a service based on
conscience if the employee first notified the employer in writing of his/her
objection. The bill frees the provider of civil and criminal liability
unless the conscientious objection places the life of a patient in immediate


SubAla Legislation


SubAla continues to wait for ABC to make a decision as to whether they will
endorse the proposed license prior to bid legislation that is a cornerstone
bill of the 2013 program. Many in the construction community are calling
for legislation to improve the construction industry and bring Alabama more
in line with its surrounding states.


This legislation will require that a subcontractor who performs work
exceeding $50,000 be licensed prior to bid, and will protect both
contractors and subcontractors from liability under the licensing statute
for general contractors.

ABC has asked David Campbell to speak with a group of its contractor and
subcontractor members on Monday, March 11th to answer questions regarding
this legislation. SubAla has received strong indication that ABC will be
supporting this bill and ABC should provide confirmation of their support
after Monday's meeting.


Click here

to review a copy of the proposed bill.








House: 334-242-7600 Senate: 334-242-7800


David Campbell
COO/General Counsel