MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Some state leaders are calling for the legislature to renew certain economic incentives next session.
The Alabama Jobs Act incentives and the Growing Alabama Credit have worked to bring in new business to the state since 2015.
Through the legislation, Alabama makes about $350 million available annually to attract new business to the Yellowhammer State.
Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield says the incentives have brought in more than $17 billion in investments and more than 34,000 jobs over the seven years the act has been in effect.
“It has also kind of future-proofed our economy because we’re attracting advanced manufacturers, R and D, medical companies and lots of new industries that if you’d looked at Alabama’s economy 50 years ago, you’d have never thought those companies would be in Alabama,” Canfield said.
The act expires in July this year, and Canfield says state lawmakers should consider reauthorizing it and increasing the $350 million cap.
“We’ve been approaching our cap over the past year or two, so I think you’re going to see us seeking to have our incentives renewed. We’ll probably be asking for a modest increase in that cap,” Canfield said.
Canfield says the Department is still determining how much they think it should increase.
Beyond continuing those incentives, Canfield says the state should also look into ways to expand where new businesses can go. He says a byproduct of more companies coming to Alabama is less site availability.
“I think we want to pay attention to how we want to encourage more site availability across the state not only in some of the major metropolitan areas but certainly the rural communities to drive job creation into each of our 67 counties,” Canfield said.
It’s not just the Commerce department encouraging the continuation of these incentives, the Governor and Lt. Governor have also said it should be a priority next session.