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LaFayette Leader Spring 2021


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Cover

LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - From the CEO

From the CEO

Sharon N. Tolbert, Chief Executive Officer

Sharon Tolbert AHA CEO Headshot

Welcome to the Spring 2021 edition of the LaFayette Leader! The LaFayette Housing Authority (LHA) had an eventful first quarter as we implemented and planned for new programs and services. The LHA had a successful FYE2020 audit reflecting not findings or concerns! Also, LHA implemented online rent payments, COVID-19 supplies were distributed to residents, virtual workshops were offered, and the list goes on. The following pages of the LaFayette Leader provide additional information regarding new programs and services.

I am grateful to see the COVID-19 infectious rate in Chambers County is substantially decreasing. However, due to the continued threat of the virus, the LHA will remain at Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Reopening Plan. Please know our desire is to resume our traditional business operations, but our primary concern is to ensure we protect our clients, staff, and the general public. However, we are accepting appointments! I do apologize for the inconvenience our office closure may have caused and appreciate your continued patience.

As a reminder, COVID-19 waivers offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be expiring soon; therefore, it is imperative that families served by the LHA comply with all program requirements. To secure your housing assistance, I encourage our residents and participants to comply with recertification requirements, report changes in income and household composition as required, fulfill your dwelling lease obligations, pay rent and fees on time, check your mail regularly concerning time-sensitive correspondence regarding your assistance, and other applicable requirements.

Thank you! I want to extend my sincere appreciation to LHA's community partners. Your partnerships allow LHA to provide essential services to our families. Thank you to LHA's Board of Commissioners for your continued support and dedication. I also want to thank LHA's staff for their hard work and commitment.

Although we are starting to see positive changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, I encourage everyone to remain vigilant and please adhere to the CDC's guidelines in an effort to minimize the spread of the virus. My thoughts and prayers go out to families that have been impacted by the pandemic.

As always, it is my desire that you continue to find the LaFayette Leader to be a useful tool to communicate upcoming, news, events, and more. For more information, please visit our website at www.auburnhousingauth.org and sign up for "News and More" to receive email and text notifications. Also, be sure to connect with us on social media!

Please stay safe,

Sharon N. Tolbert


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Commissioner's Corner

LHA is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, representing a cross-section of the community and appointed by the Mayor of the City of LaFayette. One member must be a resident of an LHA property or program.

The Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the fiscal management of the agency and approving policies.

Board meetings are held at noon on the third Wednesday in March, June, September, and December. The meeting date is subject to change.

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Board of Commissioners

Peggy King, Chairperson
Elton Holloway, Vice Chairperson
Mary Owens-Lyerly, Commissioner
Angelia Davis, Commissioner

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LHA Board Meetings

LHA Board Meeting
Date: June 15, 2021
Time: 12:30pm (CST)

Location: Zoom
Number: 1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 982 2540 9030


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Human Resources

Employee News & Interim Changes

New Employee McWhorter New Employee
Welcome, Jason McWhorter Maintenance Mechanic hired 3/4/21
  Greg Moore Interim Regional Maintenance Manager (AHA)
  Harvey Maddox Interim Maintenance Mechanic (AHA)
  Shannon Walters Interim Regional Property Manager (LHA & RHA)

Vacancies

AHA Maintenance Mechanic
Regional Maintenance Manager
Cashier/Receptionist

To view the job description and apply, visit:
www.auburnhousingauth.org/careers  


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Talk With Us Tuesdays

Join us for a variety of classes this April directly from your phone, computer, or tablet! View the workshop schedule below and contact Resident Services Coordinator, Charlotte Mattox at 334-821-2262 ext. 230 for more information!


VIVA and Medicare/Medicaid Information Zoom-shop

Join us as Leigh Andress, VIVA Representative discusses free programs offered through VIVA and the most recent updates to Medicare and Medicaid Programs. Walmart Gift Cards will be given away as door prizes for the residents who attend.

When: April 6, 2021 - 2:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/96020484484 

Meeting ID: 960 2048 4484


Curb Appeal Zoom-Shop/Conference Call

Join us as Carrie Smith, Auburn Housing Authority's Multi-Family Housing Director provides valuable insight on how to make budget-friendly improvements to your unit.

When: April 13, 2021 - 2:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/91310543480 

Meeting ID: 913 1054 3480


ACDC Food Pantry

Join us as AJ Harris, Auburn Housing Authority's Director of Public Relations and Compliance provides information on the Auburn Community Development Corporation (ACDC) Food Pantry.

When: April 20, 2021 - 2:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/99547687560 

Meeting ID: 995 4768 7560


GED and Career Pathway Program

Join us as June Abercrombie, Director of Southern Union's Adult Education Program discusses the Career Pathways Program. Career Pathway is a dual enrollment program designed for adults and students to simultaneously earn their GED and a certificate. Career Pathways provides resources including financial aid and job assistance.

When: April 27, 2021 - 2:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/93958687030 

Meeting ID: 939 5868 7030


Stay updated on community resources, resident programs, job opportunities, scholarships, and more by liking, following, and engaging with us on social media!

Connect with us...

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuburnHousing/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/Auburn_Housing

Choose your favorite and like us for updates!

 


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Covid-19 Supply Distribution

Covid-19 Supply Bag Distribution

Helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is one of our top priorities. Because of this, we have utilized some of our funding to provide our residents with Covid-19 supplies. Hand sanitizer and face masks are necessities these days and our residents continue to be grateful for the resources they are receiving. Allowing residents the opportunity to conduct these tasks onsite was not only beneficial but convenient. With the pandemic, we did require social distancing and masks to be worn, but the overall turnout was a success.

Staff distributing covid19 supply bags to residents homes

 


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - School Supplies

LHA School Supply Drive

We hope these school supplies will help each of you finish the school year strong. We commend you all for handling many of the changes brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Education can provide you with opportunities to achieve whatever goals you desire in life. Continue to strive to achieve academic excellence. Please know that your Housing Authority staff is here to assist you.

Be sure to access a list of youth programming and scholarships on our website at https://www.auburnhousingauth.org/residents 


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Girls Step

Girls Step Career Expo

Career Expo & Luncheon -Girls Edition (Middle & High School Student)

Saturday, April 24th from 10 AM - 2 PM

Career Expo
Participants will meet with women from various career fields to discuss their educational paths and current responsibilities. Representation from all 16 Career Clusters identified by the Alabama Department of Education will be present.

College Panel
Participants will have a Q&A with current college students to discuss student life, 2yr/4yr options, Greek life, and more...

Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort & Spa @ Grand National
3700 Robert Trent Jones Trail, Opelika, AL 36801

Register Online at www.gstepsinc.org 


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Word Search

LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - GoSection8

LHA & GoSection8

LaFayette Housing Authority (LHA) has partnered with www.Gosection8.com, to provide rental listing services. Listings are available to voucher holders seeking residential dwellings in the private market. This service provides full support to owners and tenants. Voucher holders are able to quickly locate available units, and owners are able to list properties in detail. LaFayette Housing Authority does not guarantee the accuracy of the units listed. These units are not preapproved and each unit selected by a voucher holder will be required to pass an inspection. Please contact the owners/property managers for further information on these units.

All LHA PBV/TBV applications will now be completed and updated at https://www.gosection8.com/housing-authority-of-the-city-of-lafayette/HA1002  Please contact our office at 334-821-2262 ext. 212 with any questions and/or concerns. Contact GoSection8.com for questions concerning applying or updating your application via their website at gosection8.com or by phone (toll-free) at 1-866-466-7328.

Landlords/Property Managers/Agents
Register to list your available units. These listings will be accessed by voucher holders online, or by calling a toll-free number. You can register online at gosection8.com or by phone (toll-free) at 1-866-466-7328.

LHA Landing Page:

https://www.gosection8.com/housing-authority-of-the-city-of-lafayette/HA1002 


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Landlord Corner

Auto-Rescheduling

A friendly reminder that McCright Inspection Company will automatically schedule a re-inspection for failed HQS inspections. Please review the letters for important information about dates and adverse actions taken for non-compliance.

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Address Change

If you move, remember to report your new address to our office in writing. Also, report changes in anticipated changes of ownership as soon as possible. You must advise us before you sell the property rented to a voucher holder. There is paperwork that must be done to adjust ownership and rental assistance.

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Lease Renewal

Landlords: If you are entering into a new lease at the annual renewal, you must provide a copy of the new proposed lease prior to the tenant signing the lease. If you have questions about the program, don't guess, please call the Housing Choice Voucher Office Program (HCVP) at (334) 821-2262 ext. 217. Thank you for partnering with Auburn Housing Authority (AHA) to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for low-income families.

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Safe Communities

Do you know what to do if you suspect fraud or criminal activity occurring at an HCVP assisted home? You can do your part to help keep your community safe by using the link below to report fraudulent or criminal activity. www.auburnhousingauth.org/contact 

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Domestic Violence

Did you know the HCVP has housing preferences for homeless families and victims of domestic violence? If you are being assisted by or receiving assistance from a homeless shelter and/or are a victim of domestic violence, you may qualify for additional points to be housed. The agency that is assisting you would only need to provide a letter verifying your need on their letterhead with a signature stating that you are being assisted by their agency. The letter needs to be faxed, mailed, or hand delivered by that agency to the HCVP office.

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Report Changes

Participants of the HCV Program are required to submit all changes in writing within 10 calendar days. These changes may include loss of employment, new employment, updated phone numbers and emails and change in student status. Landlords who are aware of an unauthorized individual residing in the home should contact the HCVP Department immediately. Updating household information is vital to keeping your HCVP participation in good standing. The voucher size is based on household composition. Families receive deductions for dependents. It is very important to keep this updated. 

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Landlord Incentive Program

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program has developed a Landlord Incentive Program aimed at:

Supporting, retaining, and recruiting new Landlords to the HCV program
To increase the number of units available for HCV families to rent
To increase the lease-up success rates for vouchers issued
To increase the overall voucher utilization rate for the Auburn Housing Authority (AHA)
The HCV (Section 8) program has some exciting new incentives for Landlords to include the following.

Signing Bonus (New Landlord Incentive Payment)

$500 signing bonus will be available for Landlords that signs a new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with AHA allowing a Section 8 family to move into one of their available units. Landlords that have not contracted with AHA since January 2018 are eligible.

Re-Rent Bonus (Vacancy Payments)

‚ÄčLandlords are eligible for up to 2 months of vacancy rental payments for vacancies that occur between Section 8 participants. Payments are available to Landlords that re-rent to another Section 8 participant within 60 days of occupancy.

Rent now, inspect later

Landlords are able to defer inspections by self-certifying the health and safety of their property, and allow tenants to move immediately. The AHA is required to inspect all Section 8 units. Landlords who elect to defer inspections will have their properties inspected by October 31, 2020.

Application Expenses

Financial assistance up to $25 may be paid directly to Landlords to cover application costs.

 


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - HCV Programs

Tenant-Based Vouchers (TBV)

Auburn Housing Authority's (AHA) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Tenant Base Voucher (TBV) Program allows low-income families to rent quality housing in the private market via federal funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Through the HCV Program, AHA pays a portion of eligible families' rent each month directly to the property owner. Families can use their vouchers to rent a house or apartment in the private market throughout Lee County, with the exception of the city limits of Opelika, AL. You must contact Opelika Housing Authority for assistance in that area. Because there are more families who need rental assistance than there are funds available, AHA uses a waiting list to administer the program to eligible families.

Applicant families must meet the following eligibility requirements to qualify for the HCV Program:
• Meet HUD's definition of family
• Meet income limits specified by HUD
• Qualify on the basis of citizenship or eligible immigrant status
• Provide Social Security number
• Sign required consent forms
• Pass screening process

Currently AHA's tenant-based voucher waiting list is closed. AHA will provide notice through a variety of media outlets when it reopens. To learn more call (334) 821-2262 ext. 267.

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Project-Based Vouchers (PBV)

PBV is similar to Tenant Base Vouchers. However, the differences between the two are PBV assistance is tied to the unit, and once HCV determines eligibility for the PBV, the applicant is then referred to the PBV landlord to determine if the applicant is suitable for tenancy. The waitlist is currently open for bedroom sizes 3-5.

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Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH)

The VASH program combines HUD's Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs), community-based outreach clinics (CBOCs), through VA contractors, or through other VA designated entities. If you are a Veteran and wish to utilize the VASH voucher, please contact the Central Alabama Health Care System (CAVHCS) at 334-727-0550 or 800-214-8387.

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Mainstream Vouchers

Mainstream vouchers assist non-elderly persons with disabilities. Aside from serving a special population, Mainstream vouchers are administered using the same rules as other Housing Choice Vouchers. Funding and financial reporting for Mainstream vouchers are separate from the regular tenant-based voucher program. AHA's Mainstream waiting list is closed. AHA will provide notice through a variety of media outlets when it reopens.

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Foster Youth to Independence Initiative (FYI) 

HUD's FYI targets housing assistance to young people aging out of foster care and who are at extreme risk of experiencing homelessness. The initiative offers housing vouchers to local public housing authorities to prevent or end homelessness among young adults under the age of 25 who are, or have recently left, the foster care system without a home to go to. Eligible applicants must be referred to AHA by the Alabama Department of Human Resources. If you are a foster youth that is about to age out of foster care and wish to utilize the FYI voucher, please contact the Alabama Department of Human Resources at (334) 242-1310.


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - More HCV Programs

Homeownership Program

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) homeownership program allows families that are assisted under the Tenant Base Voucher (TBV) program to use their voucher to buy a home and receive monthly assistance in meeting homeownership expenses.

The HCV homeownership program is available only to families that have been admitted to the TBV program. To participate in the HCV homeownership program, the HCV family must meet specific income and employment requirements (the employment requirement does not apply to elderly and disabled families), be a first-time homeowner as defined in the regulation, attend and satisfactorily complete the pre-assistance homeownership and housing counseling program required by AHA, and meet any additional eligibility requirements set by the AHA. If you are a current TBV participant and wish to utilize the homeownership program, please contact your caseworker.

Natasha Hall, TBV Caseworker
Ph.: (334) 821-2262 ext. 267
Email: nhall@auburnhousingauth.org

Laura Squiers, FSS Coordinator
Ph.: (334) 821-2262 ext. 224
Email: lsquiers@auburnhousingauth.org 

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Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS)

The FSS program is a HUD workforce program offered to participant families. The goal of FSS is to assist participants to increase their income in order to decrease their reliance on housing subsidies. Because we recognize that true self-sufficiency means more than simply an increase in earned income, AHA's program focuses on all barriers.

The FSS Program provides participants with individualized case management, referrals to resources and services, educational workshops, and guidance in goal setting and achievement over a five-year period. The program is completely voluntary. If you are interested in the FSS program, please contact the FSS Coordinator.

Laura Squiers, FSS Coordinator
Ph.: (334) 821-2262 ext. 224
Email: lsquiers@auburnhousingauth.org 

To Learn More About Our HCV Programs Visit:
https://www.auburnhousingauth.org/hcv-section8 


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Resident Corner

Resident Notice 

The LaFayette Housing Authority's (LHA) mission is to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for families. The LHA's Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is funded by the federal government and LHA must comply with the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) regulations and LHA's internal policies and procedures. LHA encourages families to comply with the following requirements to maintain their housing assistance.

a. Comply with your annual recertification requirements and submit the requested information by the deadline.

b. Report all changes in income and household composition.

c. Comply with your landlord's dwelling lease.

d. Comply with all written requests that are submitted by the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Department and forward the requested information by the deadline.

Not complying with the requirements above may result in the termination of your assistance or eviction. The list above is not all inclusive.

If you have questions about your HCV assistance, please contact the HCV Department at (334) 821-2262 ext. 217.

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Project-Based Voucher Case Management

Nan McKay and Associates (NMA) provide case management services for Auburn Housing Authority's Projects-Based Voucher (PBV) Program. NMA provides case management services for families that reside in the following communities:

LaFayette Housing Authority:
Jenkins
Green-Stephens
Hilltop


If you have questions about your assistance, you may contact NMA's Customer Service at (334) 456-3811 or ahapbv@auburnhousingauth.org

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HCV Updates

Staff members are working remotely and in office to process interim recertification's for loss of wages and income decreases in the order received. Delays may occur. Please continue to report these changes by emailing your respective Caseworker.

-Participants are not required to report stimulus funding to LHA.

-However, you must request an extension before your voucher expires. Please contact nhall@auburnhousingauth.org with questions concerning your Tenant Base Voucher (TBV).

-All transfer requests and vacate notices from current participants are being reviewed. HCV staff will contact participants and landlords to determine the next steps on a case-by-case basis.

-Issuance of new vouchers will resume. Briefings will be conducted via phone. An appointment letter will be sent to applicants with instructions.

-Landlords payments will continue to be processed without interruption.

-Current participants are still required to report all household income and composition changes. Please send emails to the respective caseworker.

-Available units known to AHA are listed under the Locations tab at www.auburnhousingauth.org.

If you have any questions please contact the HCV Department at (334) 821-2262 ext. 217.
Nan Mckay (PBV Caseworker) - ahapbv@auburnhousingauth.org 
Natasha Hall (HCV Caseworker) - nhall@auburnhousingauth.org 

We are here to serve you.


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - More Resident Corner

Food Pantry

Auburn Community Development Corporation (ACDC) is partnering with the City of Auburn to open a Food Pantry within the Boykin Community Center. The ACDC Food Pantry will be stocked with dry goods. Participants will be able to schedule an appointment to come in and select food.

Please email foodpantry@auburnhousingauth.org or call Charlotte Mattox, at 334-821-2262 ext. 230 to schedule your appointment.

FREE Credit Reports

Get One FREE Credit Report WEEKLY! Through the COVID-19 Aid CARES Act, each person is now able to get one free credit report PER WEEK from EACH of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) through annualcredit-report.com, enabling you to check your reports for accuracy and identity theft.

To learn more about protecting your finances, visit: www.consumerfinance.gov  

Health Centers

Are you in need of a care provider? Residents can find a Health Center through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration via www.findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov

These health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver high-quality primary health care services.

 

Join the Resident Advisory Board

Are you looking for a way to impact your community? Do you enjoy representing your community? Do you enjoy interacting with other people? If you can answer yes to these questions, then the Resident Advisory Board (RAB) may be a good fit for you. RAB meets once a month to provide recommendations and feedback to Housing Authority staff. Please contact AJ Harris, Director of Public Relations and Compliance, at 334-821-2262 ext. 210 or via e-mail at ajharris@aubunrhousingauth.org to get more information.

 

Things to Come

Resident Internet (Coming 2021) - The authority will supply residents with free internet access.
Compliance Cameras (Coming 2021) - The authority will install compliance cameras throughout each of the properties.

Dates Subject to Change.


LaFayette Leader Spring 2021 - Resident News
Rent Payment

LHA Rent: Rent is due the 1st of each month, late after the 6th.  If the last day to pay rent falls upon a day the Authority is closed (weekend or holiday) then residents have the next business day to pay rent. If rent is late 14 days, the resident may be in jeopardy of being evicted. Please pay your rent on time to eliminate late fees and possible eviction! Rent Payment Drop Box is available at the Jenkins Administrative Office Monday - Thursday 9 am - 2 pm until further notice.

Rental Insurance
Residents are encouraged to obtain rental insurance. Rental insurance helps to protect your belongings after a covered loss.

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Maintenance
An emergency work order will be completed and mitigated within twenty-four (24) hours.  If a situation is determined to not be an emergency, the resident will be informed that the request will be considered as "any other resident work order request". Normal work orders will be resolved within 3 business days.  Emergency Work Orders are when the situation constitutes a serious threat to the life, safety or health of resident(s) or staff; or the situation will cause serious damage to the property, property structure or systems if not repaired within twenty-four (24) hours. Examples of a work order emergency are:

-Broken exterior door lock

-Fire

-Loss of power - mechanical failure

-Broken water line

-Loose or falling ceiling

-No A/C (when the outside temperature is 90 degrees or above)

-No Heat (when the outside temperature is less than 35 degrees)

Routine Maintenance Work Orders:
(334) 864-8391
Emergency AFTER hours Work Orders:
(334) 750-8773

For Police and Fire Emergencies dial 911

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Smoking Policy
Smoking is NOT permitted inside the unit. See the Smoke-Free Policy that's included as an addendum to your lease for more information.

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To Schedule An Appointment

Housing Choice Voucher Department
334-734-7191
Wednesdays - 8 am to 10 am

Property Management
334-864-8391
Monday - Thursday, 9 am to 2 pm

PBV Case Worker
Nan McKay & Associates
334-456-3811

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Now Accepting Online Rent Payments!
Residents can now pay rent online using a debit/credit card. Rent payments made online will not incur any transaction fees.

LHA

To make online payments visit https://apps.auburnhousingauth.org

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Zooming with Housing Staff

We're looking forward to answering your questions and providing you updates! Use the links below to connect with us!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 at 11 am
Zoom Meeting ID: 934 4891 1515
Dial IN: 1-301-715-8592
Link: https://zoom.us/j/93448911515

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Don't forget April 15th is Tax Day! Visit myalabamataxes.alabama.gov to file Alabama state taxes for free.