Republican Governor Bob Riley told the newly elected Legislature on Thursday that he plans to make another income tax cut a priority for the legislative session starting in March.
Riley says the first tax cut enacted in April ended Alabama's reputation as the poster child for an unfair tax system, but more needs to be done. Riley wants to raise the threshold where a family of four starts paying the state income tax from 12-thousand, 500 dollars to 15-thousand dollars and increase the standard deduction and personal and dependent exemptions.
Riley's plan would cost more than 200 (M) million dollars when phased in. That's money that is set aside for the state education budget. Democratic state Senator Lowell Barron says Alabama shouldn't be talking about another tax cut when a recent study said the state, city and county taxes in Alabama are the lowest per capita of any state. But Riley says a tax cut would stimulate the economy and generate even more tax revenue in the long run. Riley spoke today at an orientation meeting for the newly elected Legislature at the University of Alabama.
Riley said his priorities for the March session will also include a 500 million dollar bond issue for school construction and technology projects and an ethics package that will include a ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers.