POINT CLEAR, Alabama — Governor Robert Bentley says the state’s new “Made In Alabama” incentives platform is already being used to woo prospects and garner interest from companies with new job-creating projects.
Addressing members of the Economic Development Association of Alabama at the group’s annual summer conference, Governor Bentley thanked the developers for their help in helping pass the incentives overhaul in this year’s legislative session.
The new incentives allow companies to offset certain taxes as they add jobs and build or expand in Alabama. The new “pay-as-you-go” approach is beneficial to the state, which has had to take on debt in the past to pay for incentives. In addition, companies see the approach as better for their business than the former tax credits offered by the state.
“Creating jobs always should be our No. 1 goal,” Governor Bentley told economic developers from across the state. “In any polling you see related to Alabama, ‘economy’ is No. 1.”
In an interview with the Alabama NewsCenter after his Monday address at the EDAA conference, Governor Bentley said the new Made In Alabama incentives are already being used on some projects, and prospective companies are being enticed with the new incentives.
“The new incentives package — that is really being received well. (The incentives) are great,” Bentley said. “I’m so proud of EDAA and the people who worked on that – our economic developers, Greg Canfield and the Department of Commerce – and then the Legislature for passing the three main parts of it.”
Asked if the state is seeing increased activity in the state as a result of the new Made In Alabama incentives package, Governor Bentley was quick to respond. “We sure are,” he said. “It really is working well.”
The centerpiece of the platform, the “Alabama Jobs Act,” was a component of incentives package extended to Google as part of its $600 million data center project in Jackson County, announced last month.
Governor Bentley also praised the teamwork approach to economic development in Alabama.
“I really enjoy visiting with EDAA, which is the economic team of the state,” Bentley said. “These are local people all over the state of Alabama. They do a fantastic job for their areas. Economic development is a team effort from locals as well as the state.”
The EDAA conference wraps up on Wednesday.