(a) The rate charged for publication of a public notice shall not exceed the lowest classified rate paid by or published on a rate card for commercial customers for an advertisement of similar size, and frequency in the same newspapers in which the public notice appears. The lowest classified rate paid by or published on a rate card for commercial customers for such advertisements shall be calculated to also include all cash discounts, multiple insertion discounts, and any other commercial contract benefits for which the public notice also qualifies.
(b) The newspaper publishing the notice shall place the notice on its own website, if it publishes a website, and a statewide website at no additional charge to government or to the party in interest or at whose instance the publication of a legal notice is to be given. The amount charged for the notice shall include publication in the print edition of the newspaper; the newspaper's website, if it publishes one; and the statewide website.
(c) The rates established in this section shall apply to any and all legal notices, advertisements, publications, statements, or other matter of whatever kind or character required by the Constitution of Alabama, by general, local, or special law or by rules or orders of courts to be published in newspapers in this state, whether the agency required to cause the publication to be made is an individual, officer, municipality, county, the state, governmental subdivision, or any other legal entity; provided, that rates established in this section shall not apply when a local law prescribes a different rate, in which event the local law shall be applicable.