Democrats Endorse Riley Plan

The Alabama Democratic Party's executive committee board has endorsed Republican Governor Riley's tax and accountability package. Democratic Party chairman Redding Pitt said the committee voted Friday to endorse the plan.

The Democratic resolution says Amendment One represents a substantial reform in the way that taxes are levied and collected in Alabama. Voters go to the polls on September Ninth to vote on Riley's tax plan, which will be called Amendment One on the ballot.

New tax revenue from Riley's plan would fill a 674 million dollar deficit in the state's budgets and fund additional programs like college scholarships for high school graduates with a B average.

Riley press secretary David Azbell said the Democratic endorsement reflects the bipartisan support Riley's plan got in the Legislature in June. Azbell says this is one of those issues that transcends party politics, adding: "It's a rarity when we are able to put aside politics and come together as Alabamians."

The Democratic resolution praised parts of the plan that give a tax break to lower income Alabama residents, such as raising the threshold where a family of four must pay income tax from 46-hundred dollars to 20-thousand dollars a year. The Republican Party's steering committee has voted to oppose the plan and the party's executive committee could vote on it next week.

A spokesman for the Tax Accountability Coalition, which opposes the tax plan, said polls have shown Democrats opposing the tax plan. Spokesman Bob Gambacurta says the Tax Accountability Coalition has gotten tremendous support from rank and file Democrats.

The executive committee of the Libertarian Party of Alabama has voted to oppose Riley's plan.

Alabama Associated Press