New lawsuit filed against Jeffco occupational tax

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A lawsuit against Jefferson County new occupational tax seeks to do away with the tax. The lawsuit which was filed last month sought a class action suit to exclude professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and architects.

Attorney Clay Lowe says professionals should not be included and the entire new job tax should be declared illegal. "Our legislative delegation failed to pass, in my opinion, a proper act under the Alabama constitution," Lowe said.
Lowe's amended lawsuit says Alabama lawmakers failed to properly pass the new job tax. Lowe says the public was not given proper notice about the new tax and the county commission could not delegate their taxing authority by calling for a referendum on the tax. "Notice would over ride everything. That would void everything and the county could not rely to tax individuals in this county," Lowe said.
Jefferson County Commissioners expected the new occupational tax would come under attack. The county plans to vigorously defend the job tax, because without it they could would face another financial crisis "You have all seen the almost total collapse of this government when trying to operate without it," Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said.

"If anything happens to the occupational tax, there will be a financial crisis and the economy is not back where it should be," said Commissioner Jim Carns. Commission said.
Lowe says Alabama lawmakers deserve much of the blame for passing a faulty new law. "What if we don't attack it for ten years. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. We need to fix it now. The legislature is in session. If they want to address it correctly, have at it," Lowe said.