Governor Bob Riley
Gov. Bob Riley made several stops in the Wiregrass in hopes of convincing Alabamians to approve his $1.2 billion tax package.
His first stop was the Dothan Civic Center, where he told the crowd that Alabama voters will be faced with a monumental decision when they go to the polls next month.
He said it's a decision he says could affect the state for years to come.
Gov. Riley says Alabama is nearly a billion dollars in debt and to correct the problem, he tried to come up with a tax reform plan that's fair for everyone but giving working class people a break.
Riley says under his plan, if you paid $100 in property taxes last year, your taxes next year would go up just six percent and the rest of the tax hike would be phased in.
The governor says voters have a choice, they can keep Alabama the same or they can move the state forward.
Riley insists he's not using scare tactics, but if the plan is voted down, he says the results could be a disaster: 4,000 teachers laid off, 5,000 inmates released and a suspension of jury trials just to name a few.
Later in the day, the governor made a stop in Ozark.
Riley told the crowd at the Ozark Civic Center that if the tax plan fails, dramatic cuts will have to be made to all state programs across the board at the rate of 20-percent per each department.
Riley also mentioned North Carolina's success in education and how Alabama can follow their lead if the tax plan passes.
While there were some heated moments during the question and answer forum, the governor says now is the time for Alabama to move ahead or stay behind.
Riley says claims that his plan would double, or even triple taxes are simply not true.
You can get more information about the governor's side of the story by going on line at www.abetteralabama.org or you can call 334-263-6544.