Prefiled Senate bill to allow tax donations to border wall

Published 2:55 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Alabama Senate Pro Tempore Del Marsh, R-Anniston, has prefiled a bill that would allow Alabama taxpayers to contribute a portion of their 2019 tax returns to We Build the Wall, Inc.

According to the group’s website, it is a Florida-based non-profit organization committed to funding and constructing portions of President Donald Trump’s border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The group was founded after the online fundraiser on which it was based was slated to return more than $20 million raised by more than 325,000 donors because it fell short of its $1 billion goal, according to a Jan. 11 article in the New York Times.

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People who donated to the original fundraiser must opt-in to the new effort, which acknowledges that it will not be able to make a contribution to the U.S. government and will instead try to privately fund and construct the wall on privately-owned land with the permission of landowners.

Under Marsh’s proposal, Alabama taxpayers will be able to check a box on their state income tax return and designate an amount to be donated to the organization, similar to the way that taxpayers can currently contribute to the Alabama 4-H, the Alabama Aging program, the Arts Development Fund and others.

“As I talk to people in my district and around the state, border security is the number one thing I hear about,” Marsh said in a press release. “This is obviously an issue that has people very concerned and one that needs to be addressed. It is obvious that many people in the federal government have little desire to address border security, so this is an easy way for people in Alabama, if they want to, to check a box and make a donation in support of building a border wall.”

The 2019 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature will begin March 5 in Montgomery.