Switcheroo on the Jefferson County Occupational Tax Bills?

A Blues reader passed along this interesting tidbit from the Alabama Legal Rights Blog:

In a closed door session this afternoon, Local Legislative Committee #2 substituted Senate Bill 488 for House Bill 811.  Senate Bill 488 was defeated in committee yesterday, April 29.  The full House of Representatives passed House Bill 811.  Senator Coleman, who sponsored Senate Bill 488, serves on Local Legislative Committee #2.  This substituted Bill will now go before the full Senate for a vote.  If it passes, it will go before a conference committee which will be made up of three Jefferson County House delegates and three Jefferson County Senators.  All three of the Senators who will be on the conference committee will be members of Local Legislative Committee #2 – the same Senators who made this substitution.  Senator Coleman is expected to be one of those Senators.

The post goes on to say that this substitution is allowed under the Legislature’s procedures, but opines that it is an end run around the best interests of Jefferson County taxpayers.

I will readily admit that I haven’t been following this issue closely, so I’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to look at the two bills and see what you think. HB811 is here; SB 488 is here (both PDF).

4 Responses to “Switcheroo on the Jefferson County Occupational Tax Bills?”

  1. Jim says:

    Good post. I’ve followed the occ tax matter very closely. There are 2 primary points of disagreement between the House and Senate: (1) the House seems adamant that professionals be included and, thus, require doctors, lawyers, and so forth pay their fair share and (2) the House seems inclined to respect the Court’s order requiring limited tax refunds. Unsurprisingly, Republicans have consistently voted in favor of excluding professionals from having to pay the tax. Surprisingly, Republicans are also deeply committed to passing a new occ tax that “repeals” the tax refunds ordered by the Court – once upon a time, weren’t Republicans for tax cuts and refunds?

  2. Brian says:

    In today’s B’ham News – an article quotes Steve French as being against more taxes and more money to the Jeff Co Commission – let’s hope more legislators follow that train of thought!!!!

    Good post – this issue is too important to let slip by

  3. Susan Barron says:

    I am a 67 year old woman who am outraged by the workings of our legislators who are supposedly working for the people they represent.
    Big laugh here! I work, have worked both before and after the now invalid occ tax. I can’t afford to retire. It really angers me that the legislators, in general a bunch of folks who fit the exemption status, don’t, no make that won’t, pay their fair share of occupational taxes. The fact is, the license fees they pay actually are paid by the businesses for whom they work. And, even if they paid them, they can take/deduct those taxes just like we get to deduct the occ taxes we pay. Now, if they still have to pay a license fee, they still get to take it off. If they have to pay an occupational tax, then they still get to take it off. If they are making a profit from their business license, I would suspect it’s worth it or they wouldn’t be in business. And, the salient point is, it’s a business license. Everybody has to pay a business license who has a business. If that business owner works in the business which is not exempt, he gets to pay an occupational tax, too. It’s part of being in “business.” The occupational tax is a tax that allows an individual to work. A business gets to count off all kinds of tax breaks for the business–we individuals don’t. It is patently unfair for the people who work for the exempted people who make/earn their income on the backs/work of those who have to pay the occ tax (for the privilege of making money for the ones who don’t have to pay the tax)! Jefferson County is all take and no give. They take our money and don’t give us representation worth a dime and would be fired by any reputable business for their inability to make decisions, period, other than bad ones. I assure you, my vote in the next election will not be for any of the ones who create a new occ tax that does not include everybody who works. Listen up legislators! You all have to be elected and that cushy job you have and all the perks that go with it can be gone by the stroke of a pen on a ballot.

  4. UrAllWrong says:

    What the people don’t understand here is that the Occupational Tax is where the money comes from to pay the people that wait on YOU / US the taxpayers. They are working AND paying the tax at the same time also. If I have to contribute $8.00 a paycheck (which I get back on my income taxed anyway) to furnish over 4000 people in Alabama a job, then so-be-it. The Occupational Tax is NOT a “spending” account by any means for the commissioners. What the people need to be doing is contacting their commissioners and asking why they’re still driving around in a “county” vehicle along with getting an allowance to purchase a “personal” vehicle, and why they’re spending $100k EACH year to purchase new office furniture, and what they’r doing with their $1million “general allocation fund” each year as they threaten the employees of Jefferson County’s jobs. Good Grief!! “Someone” needs to tell the whole story here!!

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