Senate approves bill to give tax breaks to state ports

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Keeping with their previously announced agenda, Senate Republicans passed a bill Tuesday that will provide tax breaks for Alabama ports with an eye toward increasing state revenue and creating new jobs.

HB34 from Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R-Capshaw), which was carried in the Senate by Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper), builds upon the “Made in Alabama” legislation passed last year, which provided “additional, pay-as-you-go incentives for existing business expansions and new industrial projects.”

Also known as the “Alabama Renewal Act,” the new legislation creates the “Growing Alabama Act” tax credit to address economic development needs in the state and establishes procedures by which tax credits can be applied for and ascertained by relevant parties.

According to a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the bill will “increase the availability of shovel-ready land sites for job creation” and “stimulate cargo traffic at the state’s port facilities and connect Alabama businesses to new opportunities around the world via a new Port Credit.”

“Our economy is improving and the legislature is committed to doing everything possible to create more jobs, especially in rural Alabama,” Reed said in a press release. “The Alabama Renewal Act will help us achieve this goal while being fiscally responsible to taxpayers.”

“Creating jobs by incentivizing companies to invest in Alabama will mean more of our citizens get to take home a respectable paycheck,” McCutcheon noted in the statement. “That is the most important job we have at the Statehouse.”

Because most states already offer such incentives, the new legislation will make Alabama more competitive by providing more options for luring in large companies and new jobs.

“The Alabama Renewal Act will enhance the competitiveness of our economy,” Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said in the press release. “We are thankful for the legislature giving our state another tool we can use to facilitate growth and expand Alabama’s employment base.”

A floor amendment added to the bill will send it back to the House of Representatives before being sent to the governor’s desk for final approval.

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