Alabama vehicle owners having a hard time meeting car tax deadlines due to Wednesday's winter storm will be getting some relief.
According to the Alabama Department of Revenue, deadlines for certain vehicle taxes will be pushed back a week in areas where county offices have been closed since Wednesday.
Deadlines for vehicle registration, renewal, transfer and vehicle property tax payments will be extended until next Friday, March 6. Those responsible for paying those taxes will be immune from interest or delinquent penalties next week.
Alabama Republican lawmakers are getting ready for a major push for the establishment of charter schools.
A charter school bill will be a top priority for the GOP when the legislative session kicks off next week.
Charter schools are publicly funded schools that operate outside the rules and regulations of regular public schools.
The bill, if passed, would allow up to 10 new charter schools to be established in Alabama each year. It would also allow school systems to convert an unlimited number of existing schools to charter status.
The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a slate of tax bills that are part of Republicans' election-year agenda.
One proposal approved Thursday would create an independent body to oversee taxpayer disputes. Current law allows the Department of Revenue to appoint administrative judges to settle disagreements. Lawmakers say that system gives the agency too much power.
Another bill would let the Revenue Department suspend tax collections if the collection cost exceeds the revenue generated.
Nearly 600 Alabama businesses and individuals are getting state tax credits by contributing to private school scholarship programs.
The tax credits were included in the Alabama Accountability Act that the Legislature passed in February. State Revenue Department spokeswoman Carla Snellgrove says that 582 donors have given $19.5 million to organizations set up under the new law to provide scholarships to students who move from failing public schools to participating private schools.
Alabama's standard license plate is switching from a coastal scene to the mountains of north Alabama.
The state Revenue Department says the new tag will be available Jan. 1. It will replace the "Sweet Home Alabama" tag that promotes Alabama's coast. State Tourism Department spokesman Brian Jones says the new tag is designed with mountains and a lake reminiscent of north Alabama and is designed to show that Alabama has those attractions. The new license plate doesn't include the "Sweet Home Alabama" slogan that was on the old tag.
Alabama's Department of Revenue says the state's new private school tax credits don't apply to students who are already in private schools, even though they are zoned for a failing public school.
The department has been developing regulations to implement the Alabama Accountability Act, which the governor signed into law in March. State Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee said Tuesday the law is clear that the tax credits are to offset the cost of transferring students out of failing public schools, and it starts with the semester beginning in August.
Alabama's second annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will be the weekend of Feb. 22-24.
The state Revenue Department says the state will waive its 4 percent sales tax on items used to prepare homes and businesses for hurricanes and tornadoes. Some cities and counties will do the same.
Items covered by the sales tax holiday include batteries, battery-powered radios, flashlights, tarpaulins, duct tape, plywood, self-contained first aid kits and fuel containers costing up to $60 per item. Also included are portable generators costing up to $1,000 each.
A new state law that takes effect Jan. 1 is designed to crack down on motorists who don't abide by Alabama's mandatory auto insurance law.
State Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee says a new online system will check insurance companies' records within a few seconds to see if a motorist has insurance. County license plate officials will do it when issuing or renewing a tag. Police will do it during traffic stops. And the state Revenue Department will do random checks.
The Alabama Department of Revenue says taxpayers should be on the lookout for an email scam that is using the department's name.
The emails say the taxpayer has been awarded gift cards or other prizes from the Department of Revenue. Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee says the department does not initiate communications with taxpayers through email. She said taxpayers should not reply to an email from someone who claims to represent the department and is seeking personal information.