McClellan Jobs Bill Passes House

This article orginally appeared in the Anniston Star. For the original post, click here.

Employers who hire new employees on a closed military base would get a tax credit under a bill that passed the Alabama House of Representatives 91-2 on Thursday.

The bill, which would likely apply only to the former Fort McClellan in Anniston, has already passed the Senate and is headed to Gov. Robert Bentley for a signature or a veto.

The bill would grant employers who hire at least 50 new employees on a closed base a tax credit equal to one half of one percent of their payroll. That tax credit would piggyback on a wider set of new-hire incentives passed by lawmakers last year.There was little opposition to the measure in the House, though one Birmingham lawmaker, Republican Rep. Jack Williams, said he was frustrated with the attempt to pass a tax credit when the Legislature recently failed to renew a historic restoration tax credit that was widely used in Birmingham.

“My only concern here is that we’re eliminating tax credits in Jefferson and Mobile counties,” Williams said.

“Have you had an installation that is closed by a BRAC?” countered Rep. Barbara Boyd, D-Anniston.

Fort McClellan was closed by a federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission in the 1990s. The bill applies only to bases closed by the BRAC process.