Seniors said to see benefits of tax plan

Published 5:07 pm Wednesday, August 27, 2003

By By LISA TINDELL, Managing editor
When asked about the proposed tax package vote coming on September 9, the consensus among those at the East Brewton Senior Citizens Center on Tuesday was "undecided".
The question was presented to several people at the center following the announcement by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) that seniors will benefit if the tax plan is approved.
An economic analysis commissioned by the Alabama chapter of AARP, conducted by the University of Alabama's Center for Business and Economic Research, shows that "the average Alabamian, 65 or older, will have a significantly lower tax burden if voters approve Gov. Bob Riley's Plan for Progress on September 9th."
Senior citizens in East Brewton have heard the information, but are still unsure of which way to vote.
A woman who chose not to identify herself said that she knows that Alabama already has lower property taxes than Florida.
According to the AARP report, the plan will see an average effect on those over 65 to be a tax bill decrease of between $1250 and $1513. It also reported that the plans effect on citizens between 50 and 64 will be mixed. Each case will be based on individual circumstances such as number of dependents, filing status, income level and spending patterns.
Alabama's Silver-Haired Legislature announced its endorsement of the governor's plan before the AARP study was released.
More than 80 Alabama organizations are not backing Gov. Riley's Plan for Progress.
According to information released in AARP's report, the Riley administration has projected that a failure to address the state's $675 million budget shortfall would result in the loss of nursing home eligibility and prescription drug coverage for many seniors on Medicaid, the closing of more than 50 senior centers and the elimination of more than 800,000 meals for the elderly.
The Plan for Progress tax proposal package will be up for a vote of the people on Tuesday, September 9.

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