Alabama Supreme Court rules occupational tax illegal

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Alabama Supreme Court rules Jefferson County's occupational tax illegal.

In a unanimous ruling with three abstentions, the state's high court agreed that the Alabama Legislature in 1999 repealed the tax, and never legally replaced it.  Last week, Jefferson County attorneys argued before the Supreme Court that there were legal questions that the tax was actually repealed.  Tuesday's ruling strikes down that argument.

The loss of the occupational tax money has forced Jefferson County to put 1/3 of its workforce on administrative leave without pay, and the closure of four satellite courthouses.

The decision could now force the county commission at hand to enact a new occupational tax that the Alabama Legislature recently approved.

Dekalb County Circuit Judge David Rains ruled that taxpayers may be eligible for refunds dating back to early 2009, when he ruled the tax was invalid.

Click here to read the ruling.