Alabama Propane Gas Promotion Programs Amendment (June 2010)
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The measure would have allowed the propane industry to levy the fee on itself. The fee would have been paid by retailers upon purchases of propane on a per-gallon basis. The revenue raked in from the fee would have been used for rebates to buyers wanting to obtain propane equipment that would be energy-efficient. According to supporters, the measure would have generated about $120,000-$150,000 per year.
After the defeat of the measure, The Gadsden Times published an editorial concerning the need to reform the state constitution. The article argued that the failure of the measure is evidence that the constitution has many problems. According to the editorial, "Often, we have encouraged people simply not to vote when an amendment didn’t directly impact them, but we like the argument that voting any proposed amendments down might force more parties to get actively involved in the effort to reform the constitution."
Official election results for the amendment follow:
|Alabama Amendment 1 (June 2010)|
Results via the Alabama Secretary of State
Text of amendment
The official ballot title that Alabama voters saw on their ballot read:
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, relating to the promotion of propane gas by authorizing the Legislature to enact legislation providing for an assessment on the members of the propane gas industry for the purpose of financing promotion programs.(Proposed by Act 2009-547)
- Yes ( )
- No ( )
- The Alabama Propane Gas Association were supporters of the measure. Executive director Lisa Fountain stated, "This is not a tax. It's an amendment that has the backing of the propane gas industry in Alabama. A yes vote would be good for our industry." Fountain tried to clear up confusion that the measure would have authorized the legislature to put a levy on the industry, but it would have allowed the industry to put a levy on itself.
- Representative James Martin was a supporter of the measure as well, stating that the measure was requested by the industry itself. Martin was quoted as saying, "It puts them in control of the associate members and anyone handling propane. They’re asking for it because it’s patrolling their association. It’s not something that will cost the taxpayers. It will not add anything to the cost of propane fuel.”
Arguments that were made in support of the measure follow:
- The fee, according to supporters, was so small, retailers would not notice any increase on their fuel bills. According to Lisa Fountain, executive director of the Alabama Propane Gas Association, "We're talking about 10 cents on 100 gallons of propane during the first year of the program. The most the assessment could ever be is 50 cents per 100 gallons of propane. But it could mean big savings to consumers by helping them to purchase new, more energy-efficient appliances, which will reduce the amount of propane they use and reduce their fuel bill."
- Supporters were also stressing that the measure was not a tax on the people, it was simply a fee on the industry.
- In a letter written to The Anniston Star, the author stated an argument that the Alabama Constitution should not be decided on by voters, and instead, a constitutional convention should take place. According to the letter, "No matter what constitutional amendment is proposed, say “No.” It does not matter how innocent it seems; say “No.” It may take a few elections, but we can grind the machine to a halt and force a constitutional convention to be called."
|Taxes on the ballot in 2010|
- Alabama Secretary of State, "Proposed amendment to appear on the ballot statewide"
- Times Daily, "Proposed amendment gets backing," May 19, 2010
- Clanton Advertisement, "Propane measure on ballot," May 27, 2010
- The Gadsden Times, "Our View: Turning defeat into victory?," June 7, 2010
- The Anniston Star, "Say no to any amendment," May 27, 2010
State of Alabama
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