As the debate continues among Alabama lawmakers on how the state should spend its surplus revenues, Gov. Kay Ivey is once again showing her support for a one time tax rebate.
In October, the governor said she was committed to taxpayer relief due to the record revenues.
“I do believe that some form of rebates should be considered, but rest assured that every option we are exploring will be focused on the interests of our citizens and keeping our people first,” Ivey said in a statement.
During Friday’s appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Ivey further discussed what she hopes tax relief would look like if approved by the Legislature.
“No doubt we have a budget surplus in both budgets, and that’s a good thing,” Ivey said, “but at the same time we’ve got to be fiscally responsible, fiscally conservative, because … this good time won’t last long, and so we want to be prepared.”
The governor is hoping that the potential tax rebates will be a good amount for Alabama’s taxpayers.
“So we are working hard to be sure that if we do give some rebates back that it’s an amount sufficient to make people realize that they got some of their money back,” she said. “That’s important. I don’t want to just give them a token amount.”
Ivey reiterated that nothing has been decided as of yet, but leadership in the legislature have been in discussion on the issue.
“Those talks are ongoing,” she said. “We had budget meetings on Tuesday with all four budget chairs and the speaker and the pro tem, and we’ll have several more … before the session starts.”
Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) also discussed tax relief on Friday’s “Capitol Journal.”
“The good news is Alabama’s economy,” Reed said. “Even though inflation is upon us and it’s very difficult, and there is potentially a coming recession in which we all recognize, but that doesn’t mean the budget we’re living with right now has not been strong as regards to Alabama’s economy.”
Reed said there were some “big questions” when it comes to how to spend the extra funds responsibly.
“So people are going great in our economy, and there’s tax resources that are in an overage, a surplus,” he said. “What do we do with those resources? How do we manage them? Do we send some of that money, of course, back to the people of Alabama? Do we use it on schools and education? (Are) there issues there that we’ve not had enough money to do in the past that we need to use it for? What are the most important areas for us to be able to focus those resources?”
Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee
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