Deja Vu All Over Again
Yesterday, Rep. Mark Tuggle (R-Alexander City) reintroduced his bill to tax Forever Wild as House Bill 362. In 2017, thanks to the help of our partners and members, Conservation Alabama defeated this bill, which would have made Forever Wild properties the only state lands to pay property tax. If the bill had passed, it would have meant the end of our public land conservation program, as each dollar spent on property taxes would have left less money for acquisition and maintenance of state lands.
More than 9,000 emails were sent to state legislators in opposition of Rep. Tuggle’s bill during the 2017 legislative session, and it was soundly defeated. Despite that outpouring of support for Forever Wild, Rep. Tuggle chose to bring this bill up for consideration again, but we are already seeing Alabamians’ staunch support for our public lands. It has not even been 24 hours since the bill was introduced, and already more than 2,500 emails have been sent to the House State Government Committee asking them to vote NO on HB 362.
We beat this bill once and we can do it again. We’ll keep you updated on HB 362 and any other bills that threaten our state’s public lands.