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Top News Links: Thursday, Sept. 11

Alabama again ranks low in tax burden

Alabama has the fifth lowest taxes in the nation, according to Kiplinger's 2014 "10 Most Tax-Friendly States" list. Alabama moved up from a ranking of #6 last year. Some of the low taxes in Alabama include property taxes, gas taxes and state income taxes. The downside? “You get what you pay for,” said one analyst. – AL.com

Innovation Week set Sept. 22 - 26

Birmingham’s rich ecosystem of trade groups, organizations and initiatives that support the regional innovation community will be highlighted during the inaugural Innovation Week Birmingham, presented by al.com, to be held later this month. – News release

Judge: Accountants must face lawsuit

Accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Crowe Horwath must face a lawsuit accusing them of professional malpractice and breach of contract for not catching a fraud that led to the 2009 collapse of Colonial Bank, a federal judge has ruled. The 2011 lawsuit accused the accounting firms of making "reckless and grossly inaccurate" reports to the bank's board. – Reuters

Tea party playing nicer this time

Some of the tea party lawmakers who helped force a government shutdown last year over President Barack Obama's health care law appear to be playing nice this time around. Congress is finishing work on a stopgap spending bill scheduled for votes next week. – AP/WVAH

Hubbert: AEA future looking rocky

The retired leader of the Alabama Education Association says the teachers' organization that he built into a political powerhouse is now in crisis. Paul Hubbert says the organization is in danger of losing its strong membership and financial standing. – AP/Decatur Daily

Hubbard commercial rips Strange

Rep. Joe Hubbard released his first statewide television advertisement earlier this week in his race for attorney general. The $300,000 commercial has been airing in five major media markets, including Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, Dothan and Mobile, and starts with cutout photo of Attorney General Luther Strange making a confused face over the outline of a body on the ground at a crime scene. – Montgomery Advertiser

Plea deal made in freight fraud

An Alabama freight broker facing multiple felony counts of bribery and mail fraud has reached a plea deal that will exempt his wife from prosecution, according to U.S. District Court of Alabama documents. The defendant, 60-year-old Daniel Boyd, of Vance, was charged earlier this month with two counts of bribery and two counts of mail fraud in connection with a scheme to secure military transport contracts to the two companies he represented as a freight broker. – Landline

Coffee, Dale counties to be tested

Owing money to the county in two local counties just got a little bit harder to do. Both Coffee and Dale Counties have been chosen to be part of the state’s pilot debt collection program that was passed into law this legislative session. – Southeast Sun

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