Alabama senators want Confederate tax to fund Black history

The state of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan now resides at Maple Hill Cemetery.
The state of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan now resides at Maple Hill Cemetery.

The bill would also establish a process where Confederate memorials and statues can be removed.

Posted: Apr 11, 2021 7:48 PM
Updated: Apr 12, 2021 11:44 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two Alabama state senators say they want to divert part of a statewide property tax tied to the legacy of the Confederacy to preserve and promote Black history in the state.

Alabama imposed the tax to fund pensions for Confederate soldiers and their widows, and still collects it today, the only tax directly tied to the Confederacy. Most of the revenue is used for other purposes, but 1% goes to preserve and operate the state’s Confederate Memorial Park in rural Mountain Creek. The Chilton County site between Montgomery and Birmingham was the site of a home for indigent Confederate veterans and their widows.

Sen. Clyde Chambliss tells The Montgomery Advertiser that he and Sen. Bobby Singleton will sponsor a bill this year that will preserve funding for the park, but require that the state spend an equal 1% on Black history sites.

That would be more than $500,000 a year for each purpose. The owner of a $100,000 house who utilizes Alabama’s homestead exemption pays 10 cents a year for park’s upkeep.

“It is imperative that we remember all of our history and learn from both the good and the bad,” said Chambliss, a Prattville Republican. “I will continue working with all that want to share my love of history, to protect, enhance and restore symbols that will help us avoid the mistakes of the past and move our state forward in a positive direction.”

Singleton, a Greensboro Democrat and African American, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Lawmakers in the past have tried unsuccessfully to remove the park’s funding. Some places in the Alabama and across the South have removed Confederate monuments in the last year, after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis brought nationwide protests against racial injustice. But removing monuments more than 50 years old in Alabama remains illegal under a state monument protection law.

The Advertiser reports the bill would also establish a process where Confederate memorials and statues that have been removed from public property in Alabama be moved to the park and displayed. It’s unclear how that would work with the current law.

The last Confederate veteran died at the home in 1934, leaving seven widows as resident. The state closed the home in 1939, instead paying welfare to five remaining widows. In 1964, lawmakers created Confederate Memorial Park as a “shrine to the honor of Alabama’s citizens of the Confederacy.” The park, run by the Alabama Historical Commission, came amid centennial observances of the Civil War, but also amid resistance to the Civil Rights movement by Alabama’s segregationist government.

Huntsville
Mostly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 69°
Florence
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Fayetteville
Mostly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 70°
Scottsboro
Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 70°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530325

Reported Deaths: 10966
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763971520
Mobile40908804
Madison34717503
Tuscaloosa25730452
Montgomery24314588
Shelby23401249
Baldwin21107307
Lee15856171
Calhoun14488314
Morgan14282279
Etowah13819353
Marshall12210223
Houston10557280
Elmore10044205
Limestone9954150
Cullman9649193
St. Clair9644242
Lauderdale9419241
DeKalb8825185
Talladega8214175
Walker7223277
Autauga6918108
Jackson6804112
Blount6651137
Colbert6292134
Coffee5506119
Dale4828111
Russell440638
Chilton4279112
Franklin425582
Covington4118118
Tallapoosa4019152
Escambia393276
Chambers3559123
Dallas3547151
Clarke350861
Marion3113100
Pike310577
Lawrence299898
Winston274072
Bibb260464
Marengo249264
Geneva249077
Pickens234160
Barbour230757
Hale222677
Butler215969
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184445
Randolph179941
Monroe177340
Washington167039
Macon158750
Clay156156
Crenshaw152057
Cleburne148741
Lamar141934
Lowndes138653
Wilcox127030
Bullock123041
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa107128
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 852841

Reported Deaths: 12255
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby956561619
Davidson89355933
Knox50675635
Hamilton44280494
Rutherford43046434
Williamson28015217
Sumner24012349
Montgomery20255225
Wilson18804234
Out of TN1840797
Unassigned16998134
Sullivan16794294
Blount15490193
Bradley15032150
Washington14597245
Maury13499172
Sevier13391175
Putnam11396175
Madison11168242
Robertson9756131
Anderson8760172
Hamblen8610173
Greene7877155
Tipton7359103
Coffee6905121
Dickson6840110
Cumberland6734132
Carter6634158
Gibson6526146
McMinn650898
Bedford6506128
Roane6282105
Jefferson6211124
Loudon613069
Hawkins6077107
Lawrence593887
Monroe584095
Warren554881
Dyer5425106
Franklin515090
Fayette506877
Cheatham455355
Obion454196
Cocke450099
Lincoln435763
Rhea434875
Marshall419058
Campbell415463
Weakley412865
Giles3996100
Henderson378976
White364170
Macon361978
Carroll361683
Hardin357167
Hardeman352664
Lauderdale318944
Henry318576
Claiborne318273
Marion312347
Scott312345
Overton301161
Wayne296334
Hickman284046
McNairy282054
DeKalb279654
Smith277839
Haywood271162
Grainger262850
Morgan250139
Trousdale250122
Fentress241547
Johnson240739
Chester214351
Bledsoe214211
Polk207824
Unicoi203549
Crockett203248
Cannon192031
Union190734
Humphreys179927
Grundy179334
Lake170326
Sequatchie169829
Benton166540
Decatur158639
Lewis158126
Meigs139125
Stewart132528
Jackson132036
Clay110131
Houston109333
Perry106628
Moore101117
Van Buren84723
Pickett76024
Hancock58912

Community Events