- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Legislature has given final approval to legislation creating an independent tribunal to hear tax appeals.

The House of Representatives voted 94-1 on Wednesday to go along with Senate changes to the bill. The proposal now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley.

Tribunal judges will replace an administrative law judge employed by Alabama Department of Revenue.

Republican Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood says the change will ensure taxpayers have an independent person to hear their cases.

Tribunal judges would be appointed by the governor. One judge would be assigned to each case, but a judge could ask for an additional two judges to help decide the case.

DeMarco says Alabama was in the minority of states for not already having a tribunal.

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