Section 40-9-14.1

Certificates of exemption to governmental entities, contractors, etc., for certain tax exempt projects.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term governmental entity means the State of Alabama and its political subdivisions, including a county, a municipality, an industrial or economic development board or authority, and any public water or sewer authority, district, system, or board that otherwise is sales and use tax exempt. A governmental entity shall also include an educational institution of any of the foregoing Alabama political subdivisions including a public college or university, a county or city board of education, and the State Board of Education.

(b)(1) The Department of Revenue shall issue a certificate of exemption to the governmental entity for each tax exempt project.

(2) The Department of Revenue shall grant a certificate of exemption from state and local sales and use taxes to any contractor licensed by the State Licensing Board for General Contractors, or any subcontractor working under the same contract, for the purchase of building materials, construction materials and supplies, and other tangible personal property that becomes part of the structure that is the subject of a written contract for the construction of a building or other project, not to include any contract for the construction of any highway, road, or bridge, for and on behalf of a governmental entity which is exempt from the payment of sales and use taxes.

(c) The use of a certificate of exemption for the purchase of tangible personal property pursuant to this section shall include only tangible personal property that becomes part of the structure that is the subject of the construction contract. Any contractor or subcontractor purchasing any tangible personal property pursuant to a certificate of exemption shall maintain an accurate cost accounting of the purchase and use of the property in the construction of the project.

(d) A contractor who has an exemption from sales and use tax for the purchase of materials to use on a government project shall file, in a manner as prescribed by the department, reports of all exempt purchases. The reports shall be filed as a prerequisite to renewal of a certificate of exemption.

(e)(1) The department may assess any contractor or subcontractor with state and local sales or use taxes on any item purchased with a certificate of exemption not properly accounted for and reported as required.

(2) Any contractor or subcontractor who intentionally uses a certificate of exemption in violation of this section shall, in addition to the actual sales or use tax liability due, be subject to a civil penalty levied by the department in the amount of not less than a minimum of two thousand dollars ($2,000) or two times any state and local sales or use tax due for the property and, based on the contractor's or subcontractor's willful misuse of the certificate of exemption, may be barred from the use of any certificate of exemption on any project for up to two years.

(f) The department may adopt rules to implement this section in order to effectuate the purposes of this section and to provide for accurate accounting and enforcement of this section.

(g) In bidding the work on a tax exempt project, the bid form shall provide for an accounting for the tax savings.

(h) The intent of this section is to lower the administrative cost for the governmental entity, contractor, and subcontractor for public works projects. It is not the intent of this section to change the basis for determining professional services from fair market value, which may include sales and use taxes.

(i) This section shall be operative for contracts entered into with governmental entities as defined in subsection (a), not including public water or sewer authorities, districts, systems, or boards that otherwise are sales and use tax exempt, on January 1, 2014, or thereafter, and shall not apply to any contract entered into prior to January 1, 2014. This section shall be operative for contracts entered into with public water or sewer authorities, districts, systems, or boards that otherwise are sales and use tax exempt on January 1, 2019, and thereafter, and shall not apply to any contract entered into with such entities prior to January 1, 2019. In addition, this section shall not apply to any contract change orders or contract extensions, including revised, renegotiated, or altered contracts, when the original contract was entered into prior to January 1, 2014, with a governmental entity. Nor shall this section apply to any contract change orders or contract extensions, including revised, renegotiated, or altered contracts with any public water or sewer authority, district, system, or board that otherwise is sales and use tax exempt, when the original contract was entered into prior to January 1, 2019. The Department of Revenue may adopt rules to implement this section.

(Act 2013-205, p. 439, §§1, 2; Act 2018-234, §1.)