Court says no to occupational tax

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Alabama Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to let Jefferson County spend money collected from the county's occupational tax.

FOX6 News reporter Alan Collins learned of the decision at around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The county commission had asked the court to let it continue spending the money while it appeals a January court ruling that overturned the tax. The court said no.

In its ruling, the state's high court said the county has two options: it can either continue to appeal the judge's ruling, or it can ask the judge to let it spend the money if it posts a bond.

In January, DeKalb County judge David Rains ruled the tax illegal, a decision the county is appealing. Earlier this month, Judge Rains ordered the county to stop spending the tax money, saying the argument over whether the county should have an occupational tax and who should pay it may never get solved if legislators and the commission believe the courts will allow it to keep spending the money.

The county commission voted earlier this month to cut the county's hourly employees to 32-hour work weeks, cancel contracts and close satellite courthouses to save millions of dollars.