Bentley introduces tax incentive proposal

Posted by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Cutting her own way through a bad economy, Linda Echols runs Phoenix Salon and Spa.  She employs more than two dozen people and has already expanded into a new space.

"We have three stylists at this point. Hopefully, we'll have as many as ten," she said.

Echols may have some financial help on the way.

At the State Capitol, Governor Robert Bentley introduced the "Full Employment Act of 2011," which proposes a $1,000 tax credit to businesses for each new job paying more than $10 an hour.

"We create most of the jobs from small businesses, and this will help a small business hire someone," Bentley explained.

The concept isn't a new one.

In 2010, then Governor Bob Riley pitched a larger benefit: $1,500 for each new job.

"...a proposal that an independent economist projects will produce 6,000 new jobs," Riley said.

Eventually, an act sponsored by then-State Representative Bentley made it to the books offering percentage deductions for hiring unemployed workers.

Bentley's new proposal only allows the breaks if workers stay on for a year, something owners say is a good idea.

"We invest time and money into employees, and if they don't stay, that can become an issue," Echols said.

The Governor's office says both of Bentley's tax break measures would co-exist, giving business owners a bit more incentive to fight rising unemployment.

To qualify, a business has to have less than 50 workers.

The Governor's act is sponsored in the Alabama House and Senate. Lawmakers will have to approve this new measure before Bentley can sign it into law.

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