Gov. Bentley outlines extensive budget plan to close in shortfall

Published: Feb. 28, 2015 at 2:21 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 28, 2015 at 1:21 AM CDT
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ALABAMA (WAFF) - Less than 50 days away from that April 15 tax deadline, and the last thing a lot of people want to hear about is more taxes.

The governor's plan is definitely getting a lot of reaction.

The easiest way for a state desperate for money to get it is taxes, and on Friday, Governor Bentley had a list of them - $540 million worth.

As Governor Bentley outlined his extensive budget plan, for many, once he started talking about raising taxes, it was hard to hear much else.

"Taxes are not popular with me," said taxpayer Ron Peaslee. "No one likes to pay taxes. No one wants to pay more taxes."

According to Bentley, his plan is all about closing in a $700 million shortfall in the State's General Fund budget. To do that, more taxes are in the horizon.

"I was elected to make Alabama a better place, and part of it means making tough decisions," said Bentley. "And I'm going to make those tough decisions."

Some of those decisions include tax increases on tobacco, automobile sales, and corporate income tax. A Tax increase on car rentals caught the attention of AAA.

"Money is tight for a lot of people and none of us want to pay anymore than we have to," said Clay Ingram of AAA of Alabama. "We're all looking for the best possible deal. Having an increase for the cost of a rental car is not going to go over very well.

Ingram questions if the tax could make any real dent in the state's finances.

"It's tough to rely on something like that to fill such a big deficit," Ingram said.

Peaslee said he thinks something has to be done, and if it requires raising taxes it's what we have to do.

But this north Alabama taxpayer said he wants to see proof of his taxes where he lives starting with the roads.

"The frustrating thing is we pay a lot of taxes and they all go to Montgomery, and the return on investment is pretty poor in this area to say the least," said Peaslee.

The House and The Senate will review the governor's plan when they're back in session next week.

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