- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A legislative committee on Thursday resurrected part of House Republicans’ plan to solve the Alabama budget crisis a day after it was killed by GOP lawmakers.

The House Ways and Means Education Trust Fund Committee passed a bill that would raise an estimated $10 million by changing how motor oil is taxed.

The bill is one of more than a dozen aimed at raising $150 million to help fill a projected shortfall.

The legislation, which would replace the existing oil excise tax of 6 cents per gallon with a 4 percent state sales tax, was rejected in the committee a day earlier.

Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, was one of several Republicans whose vote changed from Wednesday to Thursday. He said many opposed groups he talked with in between votes agreed the existing excise tax is decades old and “probably out of balance.”

“The whole idea today was we’re going to move it out and continue to work on it,” Henry said. “In its current form, I’m a no. This bill is dead as far as I’m concerned, if it hits the floor,” he said. “I don’t even think it will hit the floor if it doesn’t change.”

House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, said the tax would have the biggest impact on agricultural and manufacturing operations that buy large oil volumes.

“We ask these companies like Mercedes, Hundai, to come to the state of Alabama and offer incentives to come,” Ford said. “They don’t buy them by the 55-gallon drum; they buy them by the tanker trucks. So basically we’re giving them incentives on the front end and then stabbing them in the back on the back end.”


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