10:16am

Tue March 4, 2014
WVAS Local

Another Sales Tax Holiday Proposal

An Alabama lawmaker is looking to create a sales tax holiday for consumers buying guns and ammunition.  Republican Rep. Becky Nordgren of Gadsden said Monday that she has filed legislation to create an annual state sales tax holiday for gun and ammunition purchases.  The firearms tax holiday would occur every weekend prior to the Fourth of July.  Alabama currently has tax holidays for back-to-school shopping and severe weather preparedness. 

Payday Loans

The latest reform bill aimed at the payday lending industry was introduced last week by State Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur.  The legislation would lengthen loan terms from bi-weekly to six months giving consumers more time to pay them off.  Other payday loan bills have failed in the legislature but Legal Director for Alabama Appleseed Shay Farley says this bill protects borrowers while also protecting the free market.  Another Republican Senator, Scott Beason of Gardendale has introduced legislation that would cap the interest charged by payday lenders at 30 percent depending on the amount of the loan.  Other bills filed this year to limit interest rates on payday loans have been sent to subcommittees, more often than not, a death sentence for legislation. 

Ambulance Service

The Montgomery City Council tonight will consider granting an E-911 license to the owner of a Georgia-based ambulance service.  If approved, that would mean three ambulance companies operating in the city limits.  A representative of Haynes ambulance agrees that the ambulance services are not sustainable.  The owner of Excelsior Ambulance, which is making the application, says his company will benefit the city, especially in times of catastrophe.  The City Council meets at 5 p.m.

Fat Tuesday

Alabama's coast is awash in parades and parties as the Mardi Gras season comes to a conclusion.  Fat Tuesday marks the end of Carnival, and parades are rolling in Baldwin and Mobile counties to bring the annual celebration to an end.  The biggest events are in Mobile, which has five separate parades on tap today.  Estimates put weekend crowds at more than 100,000 people a day.  Government offices and many businesses are shut down in the port city.  Festivities are supposed to end by midnight, when the pre-Easter season of Lent begins for Christians.