- Associated Press - Saturday, February 14, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama’s government will raise its state tax collections in the next four years to solve a long-running budget problem, Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday.

The Republican governor has repeatedly spoken in the past few months about the need to raise taxes so Alabama can close spending gaps in its budget. He did not put forward a specific plan in his remarks to the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama.

Bentley said spending cuts alone will not solve the state’s fiscal issues.

“No one is for it,” Bentley told WBMA-TV (https://bit.ly/17xZNwi). “No one wants to raise any revenue. We just don’t have any choice.”

State lawmakers would have to approve any budget plans or tax changes that Bentley proposes.

In December, Bentley said the state needed at least $265 million in additional revenue to maintain current spending levels. He said roughly $700 million would be required if Alabama wanted to adequately fund its prisons, Medicaid system and pay back money borrowed during the Great Recession.

Bentley previously suggested Alabama could re-examine tax breaks that allow residents to deduct their federal income and other taxes when calculating their state income taxes.


Information from: WBMA-TV, https://www.abc3340.com

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