Reportedly, tax revenues into Alabama's Education Trust Fund (ETF) hit a record $10.4 billion, a whopping 20.54% higher than a year earlier.
Since ETF obligations are about $9 billion, there has been discussion about the possibility of the surplus going toward tax relief in the form of a rebate or permanent cut.
On Friday's broadcast of Alabama Public Television's "Capitol Journal," State Senate Pro-Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) discussed the possibility of those "resources" going back to the taxpayer.
He insisted the surplus was a "one-time thing" that should not be spent like "water through our fingers."
"[I]f you wind up with these kinds of resources, you have to recognize this is a one-time thing," Reed said. "It's not going to be like this forever. We're already experiencing what we see at the national level and even in our own state. Inflation, that's a real challenge – and economic opportunity that may be facing recession in the future. So, as you look at these resources being extraordinarily high, you have to think about do we need to give some of these resources back to the people of Alabama?
"That's a topic that will be discussed come the legislative session, I'm confident. And I think it rightfully should be. What are we going to be doing in making investments when we have these kinds of resources? Just as we've done with ARPA funds from the federal government, you want to make wise choices, wise investments for things that are going to be around for years into the future, not just spend these resources like water through our fingers."
Reed was noncommittal about any sort of tax relief for Alabamians.
"We want to make sure we use them for very important topics," he added. "You're going to have a lot of the legislature looking for those topics. I met with the Governor this week. Her team is looking for ways to use these resources on these [things] that are very important to our state. As we get into the budget process, trying to allocate those appropriately is going to be the job of the legislature. And then looking at resources going back to the people of Alabama is a topic that we'll all be talking about."
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