BUI bill out of committee

Published 6:42pm Friday, January 17, 2014

Thursday was victory day for Sen. Bryan Taylor (R-Prattville).

Taylor, who announced in October 2013 he would not seek re-election for his Senate seat, had his Senate bill giving small businesses a tax break pass to the House on Thursday while his boating under the influence bill passed through a Senate committee.

“I’ve got things left to do for our region and state,” Taylor said. “I’m focused on getting them done rather than getting re-elected.”

The BUI bill, which would call for the same penalty for those boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs as someone who was driving a car, was introduced in the House and Senate four years ago and has yet to go beyond the committee level.

Taylor is hoping to see it reach the Senate floor to close a loophole which has seen three people within his district serve a year or less in jail in boating accidents where a person died and the driver of the boat was under the influence of alcohol.

“It’s long overdue for this bill to pass,” Taylor said. “Getting it through committee in the first week was important because now it’s set up for early passage by the Senate. I’m optimistic the House will give it the attention it deserves this year.”

Rep. Paul Beckman (R-Prattville) had the same bill pre-filed on the House side of the Legislature.

Taylor’s second win of the day came with the Senate’s passage of the Small Business Tax Relief Act.

The bill, which was sponsored by Taylor, increases the monthly sales tax payment estimate threshold from $1,000 to $2,500.

What this means to small businesses is that if up to $2,500 in sales tax is collected in a given month, then that small-business owner can pay that tax in arrears and not have to pay that tax on the estimated tax for the next month in one lump sum.

This bill would give up to 6,000 small businesses across the state a tax break.

“This corrects a wrong done to small businesses many years ago,” Taylor said. “Some may not think $2,500 is a lot of money, but to a small business owner this tax break may keep their doors open.”

The bill did reach the House on Thursday afternoon, according to Taylor.

“I feel like it has a high likelihood of passing,” he said.

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