How Do Alabama Taxes Compare?

How Alabama Taxes Compare

Well, the deadline has come and gone. We've spent hours working on our own taxes until we can't stand to look at them any longer. Take a break...and look at Alabama's tax revenues for a while.


Since late 1988, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama has produced an analysis of Alabama's tax revenues. Relying on the U.S. Census Bureau's annual survey of state and local governments across the country, we are able to

 

determine how Alabama taxes and revenue compare to other states. In the analysis, state and local spending are considered together because states vary greatly in how they divide up the responsibilities for funding government services. This report considers data from 2015, the most recent year available.


Alabama's state and local governments collect less in taxes than state and local
governments in any other state in the union.
 

This has been a basic fact of life in this state since the early the 1990s. It lies at the root of our perpetual struggles to balance state budgets. It underlies the difficulties we face when trying to provide to our citizens the level of government services enjoyed by citizens in other states.


As a bottom line, Alabama governments have less tax money available finance the operation of services like schools, roads, courts, health care, and public safety.

 

Explore PARCA's report, How Alabama Taxes Compare, at the link below. See how Alabama's tax system fares against our southeastern neighbors and what that means for our state.

>> READ MORE

AGC Highway Work Zone Safety Survey

 Each year AGC of America conducts a   survey   of members involved in highway construction work to evaluate the state of highway work zone safety. We want to collect information on the number, severity, impacts and potential solutions to highway work zone crashes. Our intention is to use the information we collect from this survey as the main focus of a media and public education campaign we will launch the week before Memorial Day and the traditional start of the summer driving season.   Please take a few brief moments to complete this important highway work zone safety survey by May 11th.  And of course, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Turmail at 703-459-0238 or turmailb@agc.org with any questions, comments or concerns about this survey and our plans to use it to promote highway work zone safety.  Thank you in advance for making the time to complete this   survey  .

Each year AGC of America conducts a survey of members involved in highway construction work to evaluate the state of highway work zone safety. We want to collect information on the number, severity, impacts and potential solutions to highway work zone crashes. Our intention is to use the information we collect from this survey as the main focus of a media and public education campaign we will launch the week before Memorial Day and the traditional start of the summer driving season. 

Please take a few brief moments to complete this important highway work zone safety survey by May 11th.

And of course, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Turmail at 703-459-0238 or turmailb@agc.org with any questions, comments or concerns about this survey and our plans to use it to promote highway work zone safety.

Thank you in advance for making the time to complete this survey.

Apply now for Craft Training Grants

 

The Craft Training Board awarded $1.1 million in grants in 2017 and the 2018 grant cycle is upon us.

     Included here are checklists for contractors and training providers to navigate the grant application process. It all begins with forming a committee of contractors and working with a training provider to determine training needs and methods for your area. Alabama AGC members should contact your Section Manager to get the process rolling.

     You can find a Grant Application Toolbox on the Alabama AGC website that provides step-by-step instructions on creating a successful grant application, synopses of NCCER curricula and a link to the grant application. Go to: Grant Toolbox

     If you have questions or need help getting started, please contact Josh Caton at the Alabama AGC at (205) 451-1400 or by email joshc@alagc.org.

Associated General Contractors of America Joint Leadership Conference - September 29 - October 1

JCC_2018_Logo_Web.png

Held in conjunction with the AGC Centennial Celebration the AGC Joint Contractors Conference brings together four AGC events to the DC area.  Each conference will have it’s own education sessions but the networking events will all be co-mingled in hopes of fostering further collaboration between construction specialties within the industry.

On October 1, 2018, AGC will officially honor and celebrate 100 years of our association’s efforts and successes with an afternoon and evening of Centennial-focused events to be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. A state-of-the-industry address will commence at 3:30 PM ET, to be followed by a reception and dinner program. 

REGISTER NOW

Member News: New vehicular homicide law highlighted during Alabama work zone awareness event

Click for FULL ARTICLE

New vehicular homicide law highlighted during Alabama work zone awareness event

 

By John Sharpjsharp@al.com

Marshall Walton was an all-star soccer player at St. Paul's Episcopal School whose passion was fishing. He was "known by many and loved by all," his father recalled Monday.

But on Feb. 13, 2015, Walton's life was cut short at age 25, after a distracted driver struck and killed him in a work zone on U.S. 45 near Citronelle. Though the family sought justice, the driver was never charged.

"He didn't even get a speeding ticket because no law enforcement officer was there to observe him speeding," Marshall's father, Johnny Walton said during a news conference honoring this year's National Work Zone Awareness Week. "My wife, Kathy, and I were outraged by this injustice."

'Driver glitch'

The Walton's efforts led to last year's passage of The Marshall James Walton Highway Safety Act, which reinstated Alabama's vehicular homicide statute that was repealed in 2014.

The law, signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey last May, makes it a Class C felony for someone convicted of vehicular homicide that is not a DUI. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, under Alabama law, falls under harsher sentencing guidelines. 

Car crashes involving texting and driving or speeding can apply under the new law, and punishment can land someone in prison up to nine years based on the severity of the crime.

 

State Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose, said the repeal of the original law came as a "surprise" to lawmakers last year. He said he believes the original law was included in more comprehensive legislation aimed at "taking away government intrusion."

Said Pittman: "The fact is that sometimes it takes tragedies to raise the level of awareness for the modification of law, which is a serious thing. But in this case, you had a law that had been repealed."

The legislation last year, which Pittman sponsored in the Senate, did generate some opposition in the Legislature before it passed the House by a 77-19 vote.

"When we tried to pass the bill, there were a lot of concerns that you could impact people who do have accidents that are unintended," said Pittman. "But accidents are accidents and there has to be some glitch on behalf of the driver and a disregard of the law."

Pittman said that in order to be convicted under the law, "there has to be a pretty high threshold." Texting and driving which results in a fatal car crash can be applied under the new statute.

No one has been convicted or even charged for vehicular homicide since the law took effect in August. 

"The intent of the law wasn't to charge people, but to make them more aware to slow down, obey the laws and be aware that other is backing this week with the theme, "Work Zone Safety: Everybody's Responsibility."

Said Johnny Walton, who operates a construction firm in Mobile: "We hope the law serves as a deterrant for any distriction outside the DUI statute."

Awareness campaign

Alerting the public about the new law was only one element of the news conference. Public officials also talked about the Alabama Department of Transportation's support of a new theme, "Work Zone Safety: Everybody's Responsiblity" and a series of billboards that will be unveiled this week. 

Approximately 50 billboards will be posted statewide alerting motorists to slow down in work zones. Most those billboards will include Marshall Watson's photo.

"In my time as director, I've attended funerals and visited people in hospitals who have been injured and, in almost all cases, those injuries or deaths occurred because someone lost attention because of driver error," said John Cooper, director of ALDOT.

The year Marshall Walton was killed, in 2015, was particularly tragic within Alabama work zones. According to ALDOT statistics, there were 2,452 work zone crashes resulting in 31 deaths and 492 injuries. A year later, in 2016, ALDOT records shows there were fewer roadway deaths, but more incidences of work zone crashes with 2,960.

 

ALDOT is offering tips for driving safely this year in work zones:

-         Check ALGOTraffic.com to find out if there is construction work zones along your path and allow extra time to navigate those areas.

-         Do not allow distracted driving to occur by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel.

-         Drivers should not speed to try and pass other vehicles as they merge into work zones.

-         Slow down within a work zone as drivers may suddenly encounter slowed or stopped traffic.

-         Maintain safe driving distances.

National Work Zone Awareness Week - April 9-13

Join Alabama AGC and CompTrust AGC next week as we show our support for National Work Zone Awareness Week and enhance awareness for driving safely and undistracted in construction work zones.

Alabama AGC in partnership with the Alabama Struck-By Alliance will host a number of events April 9-13, and hope you will join us in our efforts.

On Monday, April 9, the Mobile Section of Alabama AGC will host a press conference on Work Zone Safety at 10:30 a.m. at the I-65 and Celeste Road interchange, and encourage members to join us at the event wearing safety vests.

On Wednesday, April 11, we encourage all members to WEAR ORANGE TO WORK in honor of those who have lost their lives in work zones.

Throughout the week, we encourage all companies to host a toolbox talk on the importance of driving safely in work zones, and have attached a Toolbox Talk and accompanying form to participate.

We also ask our members to take notice next week of billboards and digital advertising heightening work zone awareness.

Lamar Advertising has donated billboards around the state featuring a photo of Marshall Walton, son of 2012 Alabama AGC President Johnny Walton and his wife Kathy.  Marshall lost his life in a work zone accident involving an inattentive driver on February 13, 2015.  We greatly appreciate Johnny and Kathy’s willingness to include Marshall in the campaign to promote work zone safety and encourage drivers to slow down and be aware in construction work zones.

In addition, there will be digital displays at selected work zones throughout Alabama to heighten awareness of work zone hazards as part of a pilot program offered by AGC and ALDOT. 

Alabama AGC and CompTrust AGC is highlighting workzone safety and other struck-by hazards in the month of April. Struck by accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death on construction job sites. 

Work Zone Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility.  Join us in our efforts to make work zones safer for everyone.

Tool Box Talk 

Registration Form

IMG_3787.jpg

Construction Spending In February Inches Up From January, Gains 3 Percent From A Year Ago As Private Construction Outweighs Drop In Public Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              CONTACT: Brian Turmail

Monday, April 2, 2018                                                                                   (703) 459-0238; turmailb@agc.org

 CONSTRUCTION SPENDING IN FEBRUARY INCHES UP FROM JANUARY, GAINS 3 PERCENT FROM A YEAR AGO AS PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION OUTWEIGHS DROP IN PUBLIC PROJECTS

Association Officials Urge Federal, State and Local Officials to Work Quickly to Put Recently Enacted Funding Increases to Work to Improve Aging and Over-Burdened Infrastructure, Offset Public-Sector Spending Drops

 Construction spending in February inched up 0.1 percent from January and increased 3.0 percent from the February 2017 level, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that public construction dropped sharply in February and urged federal agencies to move promptly to invest recently approved funding for a variety of construction categories.

“Construction spending in February was marked by healthy gains in most private categories but a widespread and steep downturn in public construction,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “Year-over-year trends suggest overall expansion, but public investment will depend on how quickly federal agencies follow up on the spending that Congress has authorized.”

Construction spending in February increased 0.1 percent from January to a record level of $1.273 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. The February total exceeded the year-earlier level by 3.0 percent. For the month, private nonresidential construction spending rose 1.5 percent, private residential spending edged up 0.1 percent, but public construction spending declined by 2.1 percent. On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending increased 5.5 percent, private nonresidential spending added 1.1 percent, and public construction spending grew by 1.6 percent.

“All but one of the 13 public construction categories declined for the month,” Simonson pointed out. “In particular, the largest public segment—highway and street construction—decreased 0.2 percent from January and 5.1 percent compared with the year-ago level. In contrast, new single- and multifamily construction increased for the month and year-over-year, as did most private nonresidential categories.”

Association officials called on federal agencies to act promptly to distribute or spend the construction funds that Congress approved last month as part of an appropriations bill that keeps the government open through September. Officials noted that programs covering highways, other transportation, water and wastewater state revolving funds, and direct federal construction received funding increases after years of spending freezes or cuts, but these authorizations in some cases will expire in less than six months.

“Federal, state and local officials should act quickly to put the newly enacted federal funding to work improving infrastructure,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “It would be a shame to let an entire construction season pass before putting these new dollars to work improving the nation’s public works.”

### 

Click for full press release

That OSHA Citation From 1988 Might Come Back to Haunt You in 2018

Published by Adams and Reese LLP

3/13/2018

John D. Surma

OSHA’s “Bible” is the Field Operations Manual (“FOM”). Every action taken during an inspection through the issuance of citations is to be subject to the guidance issued in the FOM. Among the guidance offered by the FOM, is that a repeat citation is only to be issued if the employer was cited for the same issue within the preceding three years (a citation will be issued as a repeated violation if ... “[t]he citation is issued within 3 years of the final order date of the previous citation or within 3 years of the final abatement date, whichever is later.”)1 The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently upended this rule and now employers can be cited for a repeat citation no matter how long ago the prior citation was issued.

In Triumph Construction Corporation v. Secretary of Labor, OSHA issued a repeat citation to an employer in 2014 that had been cited twice in the past (2009 and 2011). Triumph contested the characterization of the citation as a repeat citation because it was issued outside the three year window set forth in the FOM. The Court of Appeals rejected the appeal on the basis that the FOM’s guidance was not based on anything within the Occupational Safety and Health Act or any of the regulations promulgated under that Act. The Court of Appeals also stated that the FOM is a guidance document and is not binding on OSHA.

Employers are now subject to a review of their citation history from 1971 through present at all locations (as opposed to just the particular work site being inspected) when OSHA is contemplating issuance of citations arising from inspections. Repeat citations carry the same penalty ($129,336) as willful citations and can be the basis of submission to the Severe Violator Emphasis Program (which creates additional layers of scrutiny and compliance obligations). With the increased penalties over the last couple of years, this decision, and OSHA’s increasing rate of inspections2 employers need to do more now to be compliant and prepared to deal with OSHA than ever before.  

Click to read FULL ARTICLE