Senator Alabama wants federal taxes to fund black history

Montgomery, Alabama (AP) —Two Alabama Senators say they want to divert part of the state-wide property tax related to Confederate heritage to preserve and promote the state’s black history. I am.

Alabama has imposed and still collects taxes to fund the pensions of Confederate soldiers and their widows. This is the only tax directly related to the Confederates. Most of the income goes to other purposes, but 1% goes to the preservation and operation of the state’s Confederate Memorial Park in the countryside of Mountain Creek. The Chilton County site between Montgomery and Birmingham was the site of a poor Confederate veteran and his widow’s home.

Senator Clyde Chambliss says Montgomery Advertiser He and Senator Bobby Singleton will sponsor a bill to keep money in the park this year, but the state will have to spend an equivalent of 1% on black historic sites.

That’s over $ 500,000 a year for each purpose. Owners of $ 100,000 homes who take advantage of the Alabama Home Exemption pay a dime annually to maintain the park.

“It’s imperative to remember all of our history and learn from both the good and the bad,” said Prattville Republican Chambris. “I will continue to work with everyone who wants to share their love of history to protect, strengthen and restore symbols that help us avoid past mistakes and move our state forward. . “

The Greensboro Democrat and African-American singleton did not respond to a request for comment.

Past lawmakers have failed in trying to remove the park’s funds. Alabama and several places in the south removed the federal monument last year after George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis led to national protests against racial injustice. However, removing a monument more than 50 years old in Alabama remains illegal under the state’s monument protection law.

Advertisers report that the bill will also establish a process for moving federal monuments and statues removed from public facilities in Alabama to the park for display. It is unclear how it works under current law.

The last Confederate veteran died at home in 1934, leaving seven widows as residents. The state closed its home in 1939 and instead paid welfare to the remaining five widows. In 1964, lawmakers founded the Confederate Memorial Park as a “shrine honoring Confederate citizens in Alabama.” The park, run by the Alabama History Commission, was in the midst of 100 years of compliance with the Civil War, but in the midst of resistance to the civil rights movement by the racist government of Alabama.