JeffCo commissioners at odds with municipalities over job tax

JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALA. (WBRC) - Jefferson County Commissioners are at odds with some municipalities over money.

Tuesday the commission voted to not send more than $7 million to the local cities in road tax funds.

"We have always been a cash preservation. Now we are cash preservation on steroids," Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington said.

Last week the Alabama Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that the occupational tax was illegally passed. This is a loss of more than $70 million for the county.

"We are all in this together. The amount of revenue we are shot will hinder their operations also," Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmie Stephens said.

But, Trussville Mayor Gene Melton is crying foul.

"I didn't think they had the statutory right to keep and intervene as a pass through. They are required to collect and give it to us," Melton said.

Melton says he needs the money to pay for his roads. Melton said Trussville spent $400,000 on paving parts of Chalkville Road. Melton says it's a county road despite the fact the past commission tried to turn the road over the city but Trussville never legally accepted it.

So until the city gets its money from the county, Melton is withholding $125,000 in personnel board costs for the county.

"I'm not going to pay the personnel board issue until I have back on the road expense. Now they owe me more money than I owe them," Melton said

Melton is hoping to reach some sort of compromise with the county commissioners. The last thing the mayor wants to go is get into a legal fight with those commissioners.

"Everybody is paying those darn lawyers and they are the ones getting rich. They are sucking the county commission dry," Melton said.

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