Rise to the moment of truth Friday, December 2, 2022

Posts by Justin Bogie

Alabama money tax
Justin Bogie: When it comes to tax relief, Alabama should strive to be more like Mississippi

It is a simple choice for lawmakers. They can stop the record growth of government that the state experienced over the past four years and cut taxes, or they can continue to expand the bureaucracy until the money finally runs out.

Alabama flag money
Justin Bogie: Is this what fiscal conservatism looks like?

The basic argument made by Rep. Pringle is that Alabama and the national economy will soon be in a steep decline. Because of this, the inference is that it would be fiscally irresponsible to provide permanent tax cuts to Alabamians.

Justin Bogie: Consequences of Medicaid expansion go beyond dollars and cents

On its face, it is understandable why Medicaid expansion is tempting for some lawmakers. The federal government currently pays a 90% match rate for states that elect to expand coverage.

Justin Bogie: When it comes to tax cuts, actions speak louder than words — Alabamians are watching and waiting

As Governor Kay Ivey prepares to enter her second full term in office, could permanent tax relief finally be in the cards for Alabamians? The answer is, maybe, but it still seems unlikely that sweeping tax reforms for citizens are on the horizon. 

tax cut, taxes
Justin Bogie: Grocery and other permanent tax cuts 'on the table' in 2023, but lawmakers should think bolder

The talk of the legislature pursuing meaningful tax cuts during the 2023 regular session continues to pick up momentum.

Justin Bogie: Lawmakers must use historic surplus to protect Alabamians, not protect government

State Sen. Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman) said that a portion of the record surplus should be used to pay off existing state debt and the remainder to “create a savings account.”

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Justin Bogie: Alabamians deserve permanent tax relief, not just a one-time check

In fiscal year 2022, Alabama’s state government collected over $13 billion in total revenue. It marked the fourth straight year that the state has had a revenue surplus of at least $600 million.

Tax, tax relief
Justin Bogie: Permanent tax relief is 'very important' to Alabamians

The argument that an economic recession is coming, and the state must be fiscally responsible to weather that storm, does not line up with the actions of the legislature over the last four years. 

A businessman puts two puzzles with the words Tax and Relief. The concept of reducing the debt burden on business and local production to increase the competitiveness of their products. Economy stock photo
Justin Bogie: Another 'record' surplus in 2022 proves that Alabama can afford historic tax relief

Last Friday marked the end of the 2022 fiscal year. For state government, it was another record-breaking year.

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Justin Bogie: Lower taxes, better education are keys to attracting business to Alabama, not incentives

The Alabama Jobs Act is set to expire on July 31, 2023, meaning that economic incentives could be a major topic during next year’s regular legislative session. 

Alabama Capitol photo by Lon Worley
Justin Bogie: Excuses are easy — Meaningful policy change takes bold leadership

As summer turns to fall, the drumbeat for the Alabama Legislature to enact meaningful tax reform legislation has picked up its pace. But there is still no action — only discussion of temporary relief and the same old excuses as to why long-term reforms will be challenging to pursue.

Tax refund, tax rebate
Justin Bogie: Alabamians deserve more than a one-time tax rebate

“I think they deserve it.” That is what House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) said last week when asked about the possibility of using state government’s record revenue surplus to provide Alabamians with a one-time tax rebate.

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Justin Bogie: Alabama lawmakers can look to Missouri for bold tax reforms

Why, at a time when Alabama’s state government has its largest surplus in state history, is our legislature not acting more like Missouri and so many other states?

education diploma
Justin Bogie: Colleges and universities must increase the value of an education

The annual cost of a college education has increased by 182% in the past 40 years. But are college graduates getting more for their money?

help wanted jobs
Justin Bogie: Systemic problems making it difficult to both work in and attract new workers to Alabama

When Alabama’s labor participation rate is low, we all pay the price. Businesses continue to struggle with staffing issues. The worker shortage is contributing to near-record-high inflation, putting added stress on the budgets of Alabama families. 

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Justin Bogie: Alabama's occupational licensing structure needs a complete overhaul

Why have so many Alabamians taken themselves out of the workforce? It is in no small part because Alabama’s government makes it much harder to start a career or change an occupation than most states.

Alabama money tax
Justin Bogie: Bold tax reform should be at the top of Alabama lawmakers' agenda

“Alabama budgets are in great shape.” That was the message last week from the Alabama Legislative Services Agency’s deputy director Kirk Fulford to a joint meeting of the legislative budget committees in Montgomery.

Inflation on calculator
Justin Bogie: The truth behind inflation and the impending recession

The questions now facing the nation as well as Alabama’s state government are how did America get into this situation, and how to fix it. There are two basic answers: monetary policy and fiscal policy. They work in tandem. Both created the problem, and both are needed to correct it.

Justin Bogie: Why Medicaid expansion is a bad idea for Alabama

As the Legislature heads towards its 2023 regular legislative session, calls for Medicaid expansion are likely to increase. Alabama remains one of 12 states that has not expanded coverage under Obamacare. 

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Justin Bogie: The truth behind inflation and the impending recession

Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the country’s economic growth rate had dropped by 0.9 percent, falling for the second straight quarter.

Unemployment Benefits
Alabama Department of Labor overpaid unemployment recipients by more than $164 million in 2020-21

According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Alabama overpaid unemployment compensation benefit recipients by more than $164 million in 2020 and 2021.

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Justin Bogie: Did the World Games live up to the promises made to taxpayers?

When Birmingham won its bid to host the 2021 World Games in 2015, it was expected to be a major boom for the area. At the time, organizers projected that the economic impact would be $256.5 million against a projected cost of $75 million. But now that the World Games have come and gone, was it worth the price? Did expectations live up to reality?

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Justin Bogie: Legislature should not seek permanent solutions for temporary problems

There is no doubt that inflation is hurting many Alabamians right now, whether they be public or private sector employees or business owners. In June, inflation rose to 9.1 percent year over year, with record high gas prices being the underlying cause. But no one expects that trend to last. The Congressional Budget Office projects that inflationary pressures will begin to ease later this year and fall to 3.1 percent in 2023. From 1960 to 2021 the average annual inflation rate in the United States was 3.7 percent.

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Justin Bogie: In the aftermath of Roe, Alabama should not rush to fully expand Medicaid

The reality that so many pro Medicaid expansion advocates seem to ignore is that Alabama already expanded Medicaid coverage for new mothers and their children, before the Roe decision.

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Justin Bogie: Offering relief to citizens is not a 'gimmick'

Last week President Joe Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months. What was Governor Kay Ivey’s response? She called it a “gimmick, plain and simple.”

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Justin Bogie: Alabama lawmakers should be in no rush to spend additional ARPA funds

When Alabama lawmakers came into session in January, one of their first priorities was allocating the first half of Alabama’s $2.1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. With the second half set to hit the state’s coffers soon, lawmakers should hit the pause button before spending any additional funds. If they don’t, it will cost all Alabamians.