The Montgomery Advertiser notes that Alabama “was among six states recognized for good public policy” in 2006 by the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.
The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy highlighted the best and worst in public policy for the year and cited Alabama for its modest move toward tax fairness.
Until this year, Alabama was the only state in the nation that taxed the income of working families making less than $10,000 per year.
2006 changed that. New legislation makes the first $12,500 of income exempt from taxes for a family of four. Because it concentrated tax relief at the bottom, Alabama’s tax changes, however modest, delivered more help to working families in that state than the rubber stamp tax cuts, skewed to favor wealthy taxpayers, that are too often seen on the federal level.
Note that not only was Alabama “the only state in the nation that taxed the income of working families making less than $10,000 per year,” but a family of four started paying taxes in Alabama at an embarrassingly low $4,600 before this year’s change.
There is more to be done. Riley and others are talking about what more can be done to help low-income Alabamians in a state where the working poor still pay a larger percentage of their income in state and local taxes than they would in any other state.
But it’s a good start.