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Legislative leaders call for renewal of economic growth programs

A pair of key economic incentives programs has garnered bipartisan support in the Legislature, earning the endorsement of the highest-ranking leaders.

The Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Act, which have as served vital economic development tools for the state, are set to expire next year.

SEE: Alabama Jobs Act tax incentives prove effective in spurring economic growth

ALSO SEE: Commerce chief touts success of Jobs Act incentives

The Joint Legislative Study Commission on Renewing Economic Development Incentives held its final meeting Tuesday. The commission, which includes representatives from the business community, recommended the reauthorization of the incentives programs and submitted its report to Gov. Kay Ivey and the Legislature.

(Will Ainsworth/Facebook)

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, chairman of the commission, said the report outlines how lawmakers can best position the state for economic growth.

“Our goal is simple – we want to have the best incentives not only in the southeast, but in the nation as a whole,” said Ainsworth. “This commission has been diligent in comparing our existing incentives with other states and working with the Department of Commerce to determine how we can expand both new and existing industries. Reauthorizing these programs is going to be essential in attracting high-paying, long-lasting, 21st Century jobs.”

Ledbetter
(Screenshot/APTV)

Echoing Ainsworth’s sentiments was Speaker-designate Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville), who said the incentives’ renewal would “help Alabamians by allowing us to compete for the best jobs in the country right here in our state.”

“Industries across the country are trying to come here because of our great employees, our low taxes and because of our great quality of life,” he said. “We want to make sure that, from a competition standpoint, we have the tools needed to bring them here and keep them here.”

The Alabama Department of Commerce and industry professionals reviewed data produced from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama that outlined the effectiveness of the incentives.

It was concluded that the Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama Act are pivotal tools used by the state’s economic development professionals in successfully attracting businesses to the state.

(Greg Reed/Facebook)

Reauthorizing economic development incentives will enable Alabama to compete with neighboring states to land industry and increased investment, according to Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper).

“When you look at the top issues Alabamians care about, economic development and job creation are right at the top of that list,” said Reed. “States around our region are all competing with each other to attract jobs and to create economic growth, and we need to make sure that we win those competitions so good-quality jobs will come to our state and our communities.

“Alabama is the greatest state in the nation to live and work, and these incentives will play a key role in keeping it that way.”

RELATED: Pro Tem Greg Reed: Jobs Act incentives have ‘worked extremely well’

Singleton
(Screenshot/APTV)

According to Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), expanding the state’s “economy and creating good jobs for our citizens is something we can all agree on.”

“This commission has been thorough in studying existing incentives and exploring how they can be improved and further deployed to really capture their full potential,” said Singleton. “I thank this commission for its diligent work and look forward to seeing the impact its findings will have on communities across our state.”

The commission was tasked with studying the following items:

  • The Alabama Jobs Act (jobs income tax credit and investment income tax credit)
  • The Growing Alabama Act (tax credit for contributions to economic development organizations)
  • Other economic development incentives that are “not actively being used, are ineffective in their current use, or are otherwise identified” by the commission.
  • Perform a cost-benefit analysis of each of these incentives’ impact on the state’s Education Trust Fund Budget.
  • Recommend whether to reauthorize and (if needed) to amend the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Act.
  • Recommend whether to repeal, amend, or consolidate any other incentives.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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