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June 4, 08

NEWS / Governor Riley Praises House Passage of Tax Break for Small Business

MONTGOMERY- Governor Bob Riley today applauded House passage of a measure designed to help small businesses as they confront rising health care costs.

The idea, which the Governor included as part of his second term agenda in Plan 2010, allows small business owners to deduct 150 percent of the amount they pay for health insurance premiums from their state income taxes. The bill also allows employees of those small businesses to deduct 150 percent of the amount they contribute toward their health insurance plans from their individual income taxes.

“The state provides economic incentives for large companies locating here, but we don’t do enough to help our small businesses. That’s never made sense to me because small businesses create more than 80 percent of all new jobs. They are the backbone of our economy. This bill is a common sense way to help small businesses and to make health care more affordable. Now I urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass this important bill,” said Governor Riley.

The tax deduction would apply to businesses with 25 employees or less, which make up the vast majority of businesses in the state. The bill also applies to employees earning $50,000 or less annually in wages.

“I especially want to thank Representative Jay Love for working over the past several years to get this bill passed and for keeping it on the agenda. I also want to thank members of the House Republican Caucus for their strong support of this bill. They put passage of this much needed tax cut first and foremost above partisan politics. Their selfless act will make a meaningful change for thousands of small business owners and their workers seeking quality health insurance coverage,” said Governor Riley.

The Governor has visited several small businesses around the state to promote the proposal. In November, he held a roundtable discussion with small business owners in Birmingham, who spoke out in favor of the proposal saying it could help companies hire more workers if their health care costs were lowered.



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