State's 'unfair' taxing no more
By By Janet Little Cooper
The beginning of a New Year brought about some new laws in the state of Alabama in regards to taxes and rental agreements that took effect New Year's Day.
One of the more prominent laws involves Alabama clearing its reputation as being the only state to levy income taxes on a family of four making less than $10,000 annually.
The $60 million tax cut, recommended by Gov. Riley and approved by the legislature in April, will raise the threshold where a family of four starts paying income taxes from $4,600 annually to $12,500.
Riley says the new year will mark an end to Alabama having – in his words – "the nation's most unfair tax system."
Also taking effect Monday was a law that, for the first time in Alabama, spells out the rights of landlords and tenants. Approved by the legislature in March, this law affects 500,000 rental houses and apartments throughout the state. The law requires landlords to provide safe, habitable housing, and it allows the landlords to evict bad tenants quicker than in the past. Regional manager of Hubbard Properties which manages McRae Apartments in Atmore, does not believe that the law will effect the way their company has always done business. "I really don't believe that this law is that much of a drastic change from what we have always followed," Carolyn Sumpter said. "The fact of it is that the legislature is going to change and update laws and as a company, we are going to abide by what they say. I believe that the laws have always been clear for both parties to understand."