Long lines frustrate Jefferson County taxpayers

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A solution to Jefferson County's occupational tax crisis may be on the horizon, but that didn't help the hundreds of taxpayers who began lining up before dawn Monday morning at the downtown courthouse.

Even those toward the "front" of the line reported waiting for hours after the doors opened... because of reduced staffing levels inside.

Even for people who prepared for the possibility of long lines Monday, no one could've expected to wait 4 hours if they showed up at 7:45 am, but Anna Purefoy did.

"Yes, i thought i'd be no longer than 30-45 minutes," Purefoy said. She was still in line at 11:30am.

"Sickening, they need to get somebody else out here," said Purefoy. "Not enough people on the line."

"I'm on vacation picking up a tag for my wife," Harry Lee said as he waited in line. "And this is earning you some brownie points for standing in line?' a reporter asked. "Yeah, i earned a lot of them," Lee replied.

"I knew it was gonna be chaos, i made provisions for it," Rev. Jose Agee said. "But I'm not able to stand in this line, so I'm leaving. I'll be back early tomorrow morning to get a tag, but we will address these concerns at the appropriate time. It's on everyone who was elected to perform a certain task, and they have violated that task and now we need to send the on their way."

Others in line were more philosophical.

"It's gonna bother me a little bit," one taxpayer said. "But it's part of the system, it's what we incurred on ourselves, so we just have to deal with it.'

Jefferson County's problems spilled over into Shelby County where longer-than-normal lines stretched 20 deep at the Shelby County Drivers License office in Pelham where some jefferson county residents came to renew their license. The wait there was reported at around 20 minutes.