Jefferson County occupational tax vote on Tuesday

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The future of keeping all four Jefferson County satellite courthouses open will depend on a big vote by the Jefferson County Commission on Tuesday.

Jefferson County taxpayers remember the nightmare of the long lines at the downtown courthouse this summer after the occupational tax was declared illegal. That's why many people FOX6 News spoke to on Monday said they favor the commission passing a new lower job tax which will cover professionals such as doctors, lawyers, architects and plumbers.

"I'm for it," said Norman Mayfield. "It will be a burden on people. It's better than to be disappointed than everything closed."

Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said if the Tuesday vote on the tax fails the county will face problems.

"It means everything will come to a halt," Collins said. "Satellite courthouses will be closed again. We estimate 1,500 people will lose their jobs."

It will take three votes on the county commission to pass the new occupational tax. Collins does not know if all commissioners will support it but Collins believes it will pass because of the importance to the county.

"It may be the end of the county government," Collins said. "I don't see how it could continue without it."  

Some county taxpayers believe the county will need more than just a new job tax.

"We need a county manager," said Allen Moody. "Somebody who knows how to run this place."