Riley proposes tax relief for Alabama families

Published 1:00 am Monday, January 21, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
With talk of a U.S. recession looming - or already in progress - Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday proposed tax relief for middle-income families in Alabama.
Alabama's economy is projected to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the nation, but Riley said the national economy has been hurting Alabamians.
While Alabama's economic outlook is positive, Riley said the national downturn continues to hit Alabamians hard. Riley said he would push again for tax relief for lower- and middle-income families.
State Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton, said he would look closely at what Riley proposes in terms of tax relief.
And Baker said he would support raising the state's poverty threshold - the point at which income is taxed.
Two years ago, the state Legislature raised the threshold from $4,600 to $12,600, moving Alabama up just five spots from being worst in the nation for taxing the income of the poor.
Riley also said the state has not done enough.
The Alabama Economic Outlook - released Thursday by the University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Growth - estimates the state's economy will grow by 2.2 percent in 2008 and 2.8 percent in 2009, a faster growth rate than the national economy.
But growth has slowed, and legislators are also looking at projected shortfalls in the general fund and education budgets for the coming fiscal year.

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