MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - The Alabama Supreme Court will hear arguments about Jefferson County Occupational tax on April 7th.
Previously, DeKalb County Judge David Rains ordered refunds up to $50 million. Rains declared the old job tax illegal last year. Jefferson County Commissioners support appealing to the state high court. "Well, it's critical to make the county hold again and that would be a big hindrance to our doing that," Bettye Fine Collins, Jefferson County Commission President said.
The new occupational tax had retroactive clause which said the old job tax was legal, therefore there should be no refunds.
Jim McFerrin, the Birmingham attorney who filed the lawsuit which lead to the job tax being struck down, says that argument is unconstitutional. "If this Alabama Supreme Court follows the constitution and reads the constitution, the taxpayers are going to win," McFerrin said.
Jefferson County Commissioners say it is worth the legal fight to stop or at least reduce the size of the refund. "We need to for Supreme Court to decide what we owe and be done with it. We feel Judge Rains erred on the interest and penalties," says Bobby Humphryes, Jefferson County Commissioner.
The court fight is expected to delay any possible refund. McFerrin says it will be a costly battle. "The county is potentially adding 16 thousand a day in interest plus what they are paying lawyers. It's not a good day for Jefferson County taxpayers," McFerrin said.