Jefferson County to appeal job tax ruling, may have to pay interest to taxpayers

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County will appeal a judge's ruling that would force $50 million in refunds for all county workers who paid the occupational tax from January to August 2009.

Dekalb County Circuit Judge David Rains struck down the occupational tax in January, and last week Rains ordered the county to pay almost $50 million in refunds.

Tuesday, Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said the county questions the ruling, and points to the retroactive clause of the new occupational tax, which says no refunds should be issued.  The new occupational tax was passed in a special session of the Alabama Legislature earlier this year.

Attorney Jim McFerrin, who sued Jefferson County over the occupational tax, says the county may be responsible for interest on top of the lump sum, since the county is appealing.

Jefferson County's new occupational tax takes effect January 1, 2010.  The new tax is set at a lower rate for workers, but includes professionals such as doctors and lawyers for the first time.

Watch FOX6 News at 6:00 for more information on today's decision.