Legislature passes several tourism industry bills

The Alabama Legislature approved several pieces of legislation this session that will greatly benefit tourism in the state.

Tourism Industry wins longer summer break
The Alabama Legislature passed a bill this session requiring Alabama schools to start on or after August 20th and end before Memorial Day.  Having a full 12-week summer is expected to generate more than $22 million annually in extra state tax revenue.  Henry Mabry, executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association, said the teachers’ group supported the bill because this extra revenue will help prevent layoffs of education employees in a tough budget year. State education officials estimate it would reduce teacher cuts from 948 to 648.

Tourism Incentive Bill and Entertainment District Bill goes to governor
House Bill 599 and House Bill 20 also obtained final passage by the legislature.  House Bill 599, the Alabama Tourism Attractions Incentive Act, establishes tax incentives and capital credits for certain tourism attractions.  House Bill 20 allows Class 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 level municipalities to establish entertainment districts that permit open beverage containers.  The Alabama Tourism Incentive Act and the Entertainment District Bill are both awaiting the governor’s signature.

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