Tuesday, December 19, 2006
On this day:

Riley talks sense on taxes

In a recent interview with the Huntsville Times, Gov. Riley suggested that the best way the government can guarantee adequate funding for public education is to promote wealth creation, not to stifle it by raising taxes.

To sustain the state's economic growth...,Riley said Alabama must improve its education system.

He said trying to raise property taxes at the local level is not the answer to improving education, especially in the state's poorer counties. Riley cited Wilcox County in the Black Belt, one of the nation's poorest counties, as an example.

"You could double the property tax in Wilcox county, but it wouldn't build a new school or even hire two or three new teachers," he said. "We put a little too much emphasis on that (local property taxes) being a cure-all to all the problems, and it's not.

"What you have to do is develop an economic base down there. You have to develop value in that county, and with the value comes resources that allow you to do some things that you can't do today. That value comes from creating jobs.

"You put in Wilcox County one plant that works 1,000 people at $20 an hour and, all of a sudden, you begin to transition the whole area."
The issue of how to address