Many places across the country just celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. In the South, the Confederacy is constantly honored and venerated. In Alabama, it seems they have taken this a bit too far.
Although there are no longer any surviving veterans who fought on the side of the Confederacy living in America, in Alabama residents continue to pay a tax that supported veterans of the Confederacy.
At one point in time, the tax produced millions for Confederate pensions. Now, according to state officials, the tax brings in about $400,000 annually for a park in their honor. The Confederate Memorial Park currently is located on the same 102-acre tract where elderly veterans used to reside. This after it was no longer needed to fund the Alabama Confederate Soldiers’ Home, which closed 72 years ago. The tax now pays for Confederate Memorial Park.
Although many are not aware of the tax, such a tax should be expected from a state that prints “Heart of Dixie” on its license plates.
No other state in the nation still collects a tax directly connected to the Civil War. State Rep. Alvin Holmes, who is a Democrat and African American and a member of the legislature since 1974, was unaware that the revenue from this tax continues to exist. Yet he acknowledges that it may continue with Republicans in control of the legislature and the governor’s office. –torrance t. stephens, ph.d.