Preservation advocates are pushing for a state Historic Tax Credit bill. House bill (HB140) and Senate bill (SB123), as written, will offer incentives for rehabilitation of historic homes and commercial buildings in Alabama. In the event that these bills pass, a state and Federal Historic Tax Credits can be combined to further benefit the redevelopment of Alabama’s historic properties and drive economic development within local communities. HB140 has been unanimously passed by the House Ways and Means Education Committee. Mail letters of support to your local legislators district office or email your representative. To follow the status of the legislation and voice your support, visit the Legislature’s website at http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginFire.asp or Alabama Trust Advocacy website at www.alabamatrust.info/public-policy-legislative-alert.php.
On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, Alabamians cast an overwhelming vote of confidence in the State’s Forever Wild Program by approving the continuation of its funding. Three out of four individuals who cast votes expressed their desire to see the program move forward by securing more public land for public use.
Forever Wild is Alabama’s Land Trust Program. The program secures special lands for public outdoor use for all Alabamians, forever. These lands are secured with funds received from the interest the state earns from royalties on its natural gas extracted off the state’s gulf coast. No tax dollars are used for securing these properties and the program has no negative effects on the state’s general fund. Many refer to this as “conservation currency,” as the state takes money received from one natural resource (natural gas) and invests it into another natural resource, Forever Wild properties.
With less than 4 percent of Alabama’s land mass secured in the program, the least of any neighboring Southern state, the citizens of Alabama sent a strong message of approval for the program. As a result of the vote, properties used for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain bike riding, camping, etc., will continue to be set aside for future generations of Alabamians to enjoy.