CONTACT: Carrie Rice
Huntsville, Alabama (September 28, 2016)—North Alabama leaders are asking citizens to vote YES on Amendment 11 when they head to the polls November 8.
Mayor Tommy Battle, Chamber of Commerce President Chip Cherry, State Senator Steve Livingston and State Representative Anthony Daniels held a news conference Wednesday to advocate the merits of Amendment 11.
“This is about jobs, jobs, and more jobs,” said Mayor Battle. “Amendment 11 gives municipalities a powerful tool to recruit mega projects that provide quality jobs.”
Battle says companies looking for large industrial sites have plenty of choices where to locate, and cities must be prepared to compete swiftly and credibly. Amendment 11 gives municipalities the tools to compete for large scale industrial projects.
Here’s how it works. If an industry will invest at least $100 million on a site larger than 250 contiguous acres – a big site – local governments will be able to create a Tax Increment Financing Zone (TIF). Any incentives used to secure the industry will be paid by revenues generated from increased property values within the zone, above and beyond what is presently generated. The industry pays for its own incentives over time without sacrificing current tax revenues generated for roads, schools, and public safety. It’s a win-win for taxpayers, citizens, and industry.
“We have already used TIFs to bring in thousands of jobs to Huntsville,” said State Representative Anthony Daniels, one of the sponsors of the 21st Century Manufacturing Zone Act constitutional amendment. “We want this economic develop tool, solely for large industrial projects, to be available for all parts of the State. It is important that voters approve Amendment 11.”
The bills co-sponsor, State Senator Steve Livingston, says this is a way for companies to pay for their own incentives without putting the burden on local communities. “We all know our cities struggle to come up with the incentives to compete for large-scale projects. This is a tool that lets businesses pay their own way.”
Leaders say Alabama has become increasingly attractive to a number of industries - automotive, aviation, medical, pharmaceutical, semiconductor, computer, electronics, energy conservation, and cyber-technology and biomedical. Because competition for these high-paying jobs is fierce, any delay in the recruitment process can kill a project.
Approval of Amendment 11 is critical to providing local governments throughout Alabama with tool to facilitate the recruitment of large economic development projects to their area,” said Chip Cherry, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. “Amendment 11 will allow the enhanced tax revenues from a project to fund the costs associated with bringing that business to the community. Local governments will have the option of letting large projects fund the incentives themselves rather than the community having to do so. Economic development is a very competitive arena and Amendment 11 will help level the playing field with surrounding states and place our communities in a stronger position to create new jobs for our citizens.”
There are more than 80 potential industrial sites across the state that could benefit from this new act. It’s about jobs, prosperity, and a bright future for Alabamians. More information is available at http://voteyeson11alabama.com/.