In 2021, the U.S. Congress passed the American Rescue Act. Americans received tax credit stimulus checks, many wired straight into their accounts.

State Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook) is sponsoring legislation that would allow Alabamians to keep all of that money without having to pay Alabama state income tax on it.

Roberts told 1819 News that would be a tax savings for Alabamians of $87 million. 1819 News asked how much it would cost the state.

“The fiscal note is zero,” Roberts said. “We never planned on this. This is money we did not budget for.”

The legislature is expected to go into a special session Wednesday, at 11 a.m., to address appropriating the $580 million in American Rescue Act money that the state has received, as well as over $100 million in leftover CARES Act funds.

Roberts said that he wants the legislature to prioritize his legislation during the special session.

“This is for people who were working and making less than $150,000 per year,” Roberts said. “That is 85, perhaps 90% of the people of Alabama (who make less than $150,000 and pay taxes on their earnings.)

"Those people were in the workforce. I have had it with paying people to lay around the house (and therefore should have to pay taxes on their stimulus checks).

“I will file it in the Senate,” Roberts continued. “Jim Carns will file it in the House...This is the right thing to do."

Roberts did not expect his bill to be in the governor’s call for a special session, so it will take super majorities of both Houses in order to even be considered. Roberts said that getting the three-fifths vote will not be a problem.

“I will probably have that many cosponsors in the Senate,” Roberts told 1819 News. “My colleagues understand it and once I get it explained, the House members will too.”

Time, however, is an issue.

“State workers just got their W2s yesterday,” Roberts said. “It makes no sense to delay.”

1819 News asked if Alabamians should wait to file their tax returns.

“Yes,” Roberts said. “It will be after the 28th before these pass.

“If you use Turbotax or any of the tax software you will pay this tax."

Roberts said if it passes, those who file before it is made law would have to file an amended return in order to get the reduction.

The regular session will resume once the special session ends, without the loss of any legislative days. 

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