MONTGOMERY — Governor Kay Ivey announced a package of incentives bills on Monday that would increase the spending cap and extend the expiration date on the Alabama Jobs Act.
The Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama Tax Credit program are set to expire on July 31 if the program isn't extended through legislation. Under Ivey's plan, the two programs would be extended another five years until 2028. Her plan also increases the existing cap on incentives in the Alabama Jobs Act by $25 million annually from its current cap of $350 million.
Economic development incentives range from tax breaks or direct cash assistance offered by state and local governments designed to keep or draw businesses into the area. The scope and amount of assistance differ from state to state. The Alabama Jobs Act offers various tax credits and abatements to qualifying new and existing businesses in Alabama.
At a press conference at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ivey said her plan would "position Alabama for a new era of vigorous growth, allowing us to continue our record-breaking economic development success while providing new levels of support for the state's innovation economy."
"This package will benefit all Alabamians, those living in both urban centers and rural areas, and ensure our citizens are ready for high-paying careers," Ivey said.
Also speaking in favor of The Game Plan at today's event were Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, State Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper), Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville), Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), and House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville).
At the press conference on Monday, Ainsworth said, "Ask Coach Saban and Coach Freeze how successful Alabama and Auburn's recruitment efforts would be if they couldn't offer scholarships to high school athletes."
"Imagine every other SEC school offered full-ride scholarships while Auburn and Alabama can't," Ainsworth added. "Where do you think those recruits would not be going to school? They certainly wouldn't be going to the state of Alabama. The same thing applies to economic incentives. We've got to make sure we offer them in our state."
Ivey said her incentives package would include four bills expected to be filed soon. The Business Council of Alabama has called the package of bills their "number one legislative priority."
Rosemary Elebash, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) for Alabama, told 1819 News on Monday afternoon she hadn't had a chance to read the incentives plan yet. "We typically don't take a position on incentives because they typically don't affect small business owners," she said.
State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), chairman of the State Senate General Fund budget committee, told 1819 News on Monday he'd "like to see the bills and how that's going to affect my General Fund before I make any decisions on it."
"They haven't shared anything with us to my knowledge as to where they're going with some of this stuff," Albritton said. "It'll get filed tomorrow…and they're going to try to move it pretty quickly. We'll see how that works."
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