Jefferson County commission to discuss new job tax

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Commission is expected to discuss a new job tax on Wednesday.

The old job tax was declared illegal in January and Alabama lawmakers passed a new tax in August, but it expires Dec. 31st.

A new occupational tax, if approved by the commission, must lower the tax rate from .05 percent to .045 percent. However, professionals, which had been excluded under the old tax, would be included in the new one. The new tax is expected to raise about $72 million a month.

The Jefferson County Commission needs three votes to pass new ordinances for a job tax. Some county commissioners said Tuesday they want details before committing to vote, while others have problems supporting a new tax.

"I've always had  problems with taxes," said Commissioner Jim Carns. "This is a new tax that would be instituted. The other stops December 31st."

Commissioner Carns said he also has problems with including professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, in the tax. Carns said most of those professionals are in his district.

Meanwhile, refunds to county workers may not be coming soon. Last week DeKalb County Judge David Rains indicated he would order $38 million into a refund account. Rains also appointed a fund administrator to oversee the refunds. However, Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said Tuesday the commission may fight that order.

"If the judge ruling goes against us, we will appeal to the Supreme Court," Collins said.