County to appeal tax assessor ruling

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Commission said Thursday it will appeal a judge's decision forcing it to reinstate funding to the county tax assessor's office.

Commissioners said Thursday morning they will appeal Judge Mike Graffeo's ruling next week to the Alabama Supreme Court.  Judge Graffeo ruled Wednesday the commission had to reinstate money it cut from the budget of Jefferson County Tax Assessor Dan Weinrib.

Weinrib had sued the commission, saying his office is funded by property tax funds, not the illegal occupational tax funds, and that cuts to his office would be a "detriment" for bringing revenue into the county.

"The collector depends on us for correct billings," Weinrib said Wednesday. "If we can't deliver that in a timely matter, it will imperil tax collections."

The lawsuit was filed after the county commission voted to place nearly 67 percent of the county's work force on administrative leave without pay as part of the county commission's efforts to balance its budget without the occupational tax. That tax was ruled illegal by a judge earlier this year.