Column: Is Alabama letting money go?

September 1, 2016, by John Norris

About a decade ago, I made an evening presentation to a surprisingly large crowd in Guin, Alabama, about the potential economic impact Interstate 22 would have on Marion County. It was one the easiest talks I have ever done. After all, having access to the interstate system is better than not having it when it comes to attracting business. As I was leaving, a county commissioner grabbed me by the arm, and led me to a...

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Will cigarette tax increase revenue?

May 19, 2015, by John Norris

A huge chunk of Gov. Bentley's proposed tax increase comes from raising the tax on cigarettes. How effective would this really be on raising revenue? The Governor has proposed increasing the tax on cigarettes by 82.5 cents per pack. Currently, it is 42.5 cents, so the new tax would be $1.25. While still less than the national average, this would be significantly higher than the tax per pack in Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. In fact,...

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Some Common Cents for May 15th 2015

May 15, 2015, by John Norris

My wife took a girls’ trip to Florida this past weekend, and I asked her to pick up a couple of lottery tickets. Alabama doesn’t have a lottery, and both Powerball and Mega Millions were at least $100 million for the next drawing. Why not, huh? Sure, I know the odds of winning the lottery are about as great as playing quarters with Pope Francis in Saudi Arabia. However, I also know what the odds...

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Will new taxes slow Alabama’s economy?

March 3, 2015, by John Norris

The answer is simple: unless Goat Hill can generate a higher return with the money than the private sector, any increase in taxes shouldn’t be good for the state’s economy. So, do you think our state government is more effective with your money than you are? With that said, there are going to be plenty of naysayers and complainers when the Governor finally announces his tax plan. Heck, there already are, and, unless I am...

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