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House passes contested car rental tax for Birmingham stadium

By MALLORY MOENCH, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A fiercely debated bill to raise car rental taxes to build a new stadium in Birmingham passed a final vote and will move to the governor’s office to be signed into law.

The bill passed 14-3 Tuesday after two hours of debate. The tax revenue will be used to build a $175 million football stadium for the University of Alabama-Birmingham at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

The bill’s sponsors said it will generate economic development and raise taxes on cars that are mostly rented by city visitors.

Black Democrat representatives from Birmingham argued that most cars are rented by low-income city residents who can’t afford their own vehicles to get to work. They said Birmingham residents would not see direct economic benefits and instead take on debt that cripples communities.

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