Commission opposes bill to tax minerals mined in the state

Published 11:20 am Wednesday, March 24, 2004

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
The Escambia County Commis-sion Monday passed a resolution opposing a state bill which would place a tax on minerals mined in Alabama, a move commissioners believe would be harmful to this area.
The proposed measure, House Bill 126, defines minerals as "sand, gravel, sandstone, chert, granite, marble, shale, clay, dolomite and limestone sold as tangible personal property." It calls for a 10 cents per ton tax on these materials.
Although the 10 cents per ton tax would be earmarked for roads and bridges -- areas where Escambia County needs all the help it can get -- its benefits are outweighed by tenets of the bill commissioners find objectionable.
For one, anyone purchasing minerals here for use outside the state would be excluded from paying the new tax.
So, as the bill is currently worded, Escambia County would be cut out of many of the new tax's potential benefits. Another problem the commission sees for Escambia and other border counties is that it would be easy for area businesses to simply purchase their materials in neighboring states, where sand and other materials would come 10 cent per ton cheaper. This would have a direct negative impact on those selling minerals here, in terms of lost business.
The resolution the commission passed Monday urges state lawmakers representing Escambia and other border counties to try and kill House Bill 126, or push to have it reworked so that it would be beneficial in these areas, rather than harmful.
White said at the resolution's passage that the commission will be trying to enlist the help of other border counties in working for the bill's defeat or change.

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