Jeffco. crisis may affect state revenue

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County's financial crisis could cost the state millions in property tax revenue.

State Revenue Commissioner Tim Russell fears the lack of workers in the Tax Collectors office could end up costing the state $33 million in property tax collections.  "Due to limited number of
employees on staff we are concerned bills will not be sent out to be collected, to keep the cash flowing to the state,"says Russell.

Commission President Bettye Fine Collins met with revenue officials this week. "Out of the 500 million dollars they collect, we provide the most of it. We are trying to work out a way to get people out there collecting taxes."says Collins.

Today Collins says the county can not call back workers until they are sure there will be enough tax dollars coming in or if the county can access millions of dollars in an escrow account. So far
DeKalb County Judge David Rains has barred the county from getting the money.

County workers on administrative leave say they are struggling without earning a paycheck. "The employees are disgusted. The employees are hurting more and more each day they go without a dollar. These employees are having a hard time paying their bills."says Lisa Pack,
Jefferson County worker.

One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit which lead to the job tax being struck down says the county can get the money but only if they commit the job tax to replacing the money in the account. "If the county wants access to the money, I think the supreme court said they
can do so. Because, they have plenty of revenue coming in from the new tax to replenish that amount."says Jim McFerrin.