Report: Alabama has lowest per capita tax collections in nation
You get what you pay for. Alabamians are getting less and less each year.
State agencies are operating with fewer dollars. Many taxes in Alabama, including property taxes, remain low.
A new report from the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama reveals the state has the lowest per capita tax collections in the country. Although this ranking is not new, it does help explain why state lawmakers continue to struggle year end and year out to balance the budget.
PARCA's report also highlights how the low collections impact state services.
Alabama has less to spend than governments in other states.
This year, as in years past, state lawmakers cut government services and moved money between accounts to balance the budget. Governor Robert Bentley did push for tax increases this year, but state lawmakers only approved a couple of his proposals.
While Alabama ranks the lowest in property tax collections, the report shows the state makes up some of the difference with sales tax. Alabama has the fourth highest sales tax rates in the nation. Experts tell us low income families feel that tax the most.
Another budget battle is expected in February, when state lawmakers begin the next legislative session. They will once again face the decision of raising revenue or cutting more services.
Gambling is another option for state lawmakers that would bring in more revenue. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh filed a gambling bill in the last legislative session. At this point, Senator Marsh's office says he does not plan to file a similar bill in 2016.