Rains struck down Jefferson County, Alabama’s ever controversial occupational tax. The notice did not specify that the act was to be retroactively applied or that it allowed the enabling, authority to impose a new business license tax on both previously taxed taxpayers and a new class of "licensed professionals." Sells argued occupational taxes are “taxation without representation,” while opponents, including the mayors of 10 of Alabama’s largest cities, said the law denies cities an avenue to raise revenue. During debate, Sells said he represents 3,000 constituents in Montgomery County. Period."1. The county challenged the new tax in court (and eventually prevailed in a January 12, 2000 ruling). A county act that imposed an Alabama occupational tax was declared unconstitutional because the published notice of the act failed to state the substance of the act. ", Chandler, Kim (May 16, 2009) "Major cuts loom as Jefferson County, Alabama occupational tax fail in Alabama Legislature. The employee's supervisor must certify the completed document. The county prepared a version removing the exemptions to tax all workers at the same rate. On April 15, 2009, the Jefferson County delegation to the Alabama House of Representatives held a public hearing on House Bill 811. Any amounts that have been withheld from… Meanwhile the state legislature argued that the overall rate should be adjusted to keep revenues flat. “I don’t want them to pay a tax for working,” he said. The notice did not specify that the act was to be retroactively applied or that it allowed the enabling Currently it is the third-largest source of revenue for the county, raising approximately $67 million per year. No agreement was reached before the end of the session. The legislature's delays in passing a replacement for the revenues lost to the occupational tax only deepened an already enormous debt crisis, making the possibility of history's largest governmental bankruptcy nearly inevitable. var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-3294299-4"); The Jefferson County Legislative Delegation, spurred on by Governor Riley, eventually reached consensus on a replacement tax which is subject to a popular referendum in 2012 and to diminish to non-existence by 2017 if not renewed. Jefferson County has depended on the revenue stream from its occupational tax since the 1990s, and it raised over $70 million the last full budget year it was in effect. For more information on this and other topics, consult the Visit our News Library. In effect the court ruled that the judicial branch cannot instruct the legislature on its own rules. 2018-288 authorizing the Jefferson County Department of Revenue to assess and collect a three percent (3%) tax on the short term lease or rental of passenger automotive vehicles. * Jefferson County to cut spending, change tax code * State court declared county occupational tax illegal * County faces $3.2 billion bond debt (Adds comment, detail, byline) The City of Birmingham requires prior year occupational tax refund requests be submitted using the Affidavit Regarding Petition for Refund of Birmingham Occupational Tax form. The levy was enabled by a 1967 law passed by the Alabama State Legislature (Acts of Alabama No. 2d 833, 837 (1972). Spotlight on Alabama: Supreme Court Permits Jefferson County to Continue Collecting Occupational Tax The Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling yesterday, December 14, 2010, permitting Jefferson County (in which the city of Birmingham is situated) to continue to collect its occupational tax. On August 25, 2009 the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the 1999 repeal of the original enabling legislation in the case of Jessica Edwards v. Jefferson County Commission. A special session called in August produced a new bill levying a 0.45% tax on all workers, set to taper down to nothing over five years unless renewed by county-wide referendum in June 2012. The new enabling law was also found to be unconstitutional on September 7, 2000. TLWjr/SHC/dt He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, completed additional studies at Samford University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law in 1992. 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