Top Headlines: Alabama exports rise, Montgomery approves occupational tax

Exports of Alabama-made autos, aerospace parts rise in tough trade year
Despite ongoing disruptions in global trade relationships, Alabama’s exports of goods and services totaled $20.7 billion in 2019 as overseas shipments of motor vehicles, auto parts and aerospace products continued to show strength. The value of Alabama exports last year declined 3 percent from 2018’s total and fell just 4.6 percent shy of the state’s all-time record of $21.7 billion, set in 2017, according to new trade figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce. – Made In Alabama

Montgomery City Council approves 1% occupational tax
The approval of a 1% occupational tax ordinance passed the Montgomery City Council by a vote of 5-3 Tuesday night. The city council decided to move forward with that vote– which would require anyone who works within the city limits of Montgomery to pay that occupational tax. “We have to invest in our neighborhoods, we have to invest in public transportation,” Mayor Steven Reed said. – AL News Net

School official’s suit seeks whistleblower protection
The director of human resources of an Alabama school system sued the school board president and interim superintendent Tuesday, charging that they retaliated against him for taking part in a federal investigation. The Decatur Daily reports that the suit filed by Samuel Mark Isley comes after Isley was placed on administrative leave last month as human resources director for Limestone County schools. The investigation involves the Limestone school board’s handling of state and federal funds. – AP

Alabama man owed $780K in back taxes, hid $435K more
An Alabama man has pleaded guilty to hiding more than $435,000 from the Internal Revenue Service after acknowledging that he already owed about $780,000 in back taxes. John P. Cooney, 70, of Birmingham pleaded guilty Tuesday to tax evasion, a Department of Justice news release said. It said that court documents show that in 2011, he acknowledged filing three years of late returns admitting that he owed $780,000 for taxes due in 2008 through 2010. – AP

Changes may be in store for Toyota Land Cruiser
It seems Toyota may be planning to implement some awfully big changes to some of its best-known models. The Land Cruiser will reportedly get some changes many have been crying out for. Namely, it will be a dedicated off-roader, instead of a luxury yacht. The next generation will allegedly be Tundra-based, have just five seats, and be significantly cheaper. The report did not provide a launch date. – Gear Patrol

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