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Last updated 12:43PM ET
March 6, 2021
Alabama Power Benefits from Hurricane Recovery Program
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Records show Alabama Power Company is in line to be the biggest beneficiary in its home state of a federal program to spur recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

The Gulf Opportunity Zone program has been beset by criticism that it hasn't done enough to focus on the most damaged areas or smaller businesses.

After the 2005 storm, Congress voted to allow private entities to use tax-exempt financing for certain projects that aren't usually eligible as a way to spur economic activity in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Those Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds carry lower interest payments than taxable bonds.

Alabama had $2.17 billion in bonding authority to pass out, with each project requiring the governor's approval. Alabama Power has won permission to issue $419 million, or 19 percent of the total.

Across the three-state region, big projects backed by big businesses have been among the top beneficiaries.

Today, 42 projects are on Alabama's waiting list, seeking $1.6 billion in bonds.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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