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September 2013 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

This month brings good news for Alabama, including praise for cities across the state:

  • Streamlining & Stimulating:In a recent speech in Hoover, Governor Robert Bentley delivered a message about streamlining state government and stimulating economic development. Speaking to a group of about 300 business leaders, the governor reflected on the state of government when he took office. He recounted that it came down to raising taxes or looking at the scope and size of government. He chose to not raise taxes and instead, achieve efficiencies by combining agencies and reducing the number of public employees through attrition and retirement. Bentley says the state’s economy is improving, as evidenced by the unemployment rate dropping from 9.3 percent to 6.3 percent. He says that sales tax receipts are up 7 percent from a year ago, and individual and corporate income taxes are up 10 percent. The governor lauds these indicators as proof we are going in the right direction and says his priorities are to continue workforce development initiatives, retain existing industry and stimulate job growth among existing companies.
  • Alabama Cities Named “Top Places to Retire:” Fairhope has been named one of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire.” The coastal city joins Auburn/Opelika, Florence/The Shoals and Huntsville as areas in the state recognized by “Where to Retire” magazine. Fairhope was named one of the 15 best low-cost towns for retirees, and Huntsville was profiled as a top retirement destination. The recognition considers taxes, climate, walkability, housing and health care.

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