Tax credits could help county

Published 3:56 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – mpublisher
Escambia County industries could receive a $500 tax credit every year for three years for every job created under a plan proposed by Gov. Bob Riley to create jobs in the 25 counties with the highest unemployment rates.
As of December, Escambia County had an 8.5 percent jobless rate, the 21st highest in the state.
Riley on Tuesday urged state lawmakers to pass an economic recovery plan that gives businesses tax credits for hiring the unemployed and to protect education initiatives that have been successful across the state.
Lawmakers go back to work for their regular session this week with a battle ahead of them to craft general fund and education budgets during a global recession.
Riley's economic recovery plan includes a back-to-work tax credit of $500 for employers who hire an Alabama worker currently on the state's unemployment roll; economic incentives for companies engaging in “green” practices and research and development; and a targeted job creation tax credit of $1,500 over three years to create jobs in the areas of the state with the highest unemployment.
He said the tax credit could also be used to recruit businesses to rural areas with high unemployment.
Riley also urged lawmakers to protect certain programs in the education budget, which this year was hit by proration and is expected to be cut further next year.

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