Timeline of Jefferson County Occupational Tax

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This is a Timeline of Jefferson County Occupational Tax, covering the establishment of, changes to, and legal challenges against Jefferson County's Occupational Tax.

  • 1988: The Jefferson County Commission imposed a 0.5% occupational tax
  • 1999: The Alabama State Legislature passed a bill creating a replacement occupational tax and earmarking $30 million from new tax revenues for legislators' discretionary funds.
    The County Commission got a court order preventing enforcement of the new tax law and continued to collect revenues under the original code.
  • November 1999: The legislature repealed the original occupational tax.
  • 2000: A judge overturned the repeal, re-establishing the county's original occupational tax.
  • 2007: A new lawsuit seeking to reinstate the legislature's repeal was filed.
  • January 2009: Circuit Court judge David Rains ruled that the repeal was constitutional and that collections should cease.
  • 2009 legislative session: The legislature debated different replacement occupational taxes, but passed no bills.
  • June 2009: The County Commission ordered 33% budget cuts, hundreds of layoffs, as well as furloughs, 32-hour work weeks and the closure of satellite courthouses.
  • August 2009: The U. S. Supreme Court upheld Rains' ruling.
  • 2009 special legislative session: The legislature passed a new occupational tax bill, re-establishing the 0.5% tax for the remainder of the year, then reducing it to 0.45% for the following year and scheduling a county-wide referendum in 2012.
  • December 2010: Montgomery Circuit Court judge Charles Price struck down the new occupational tax law and a business license tax on a technicality regarding the period of public notice.
  • April 2011: The County Commission re-enacted budget reduction measures.
  • June 2011: A limited home-rule bill introduced in the legislature was contested at the last minute by Gardendale representative Scott Beason, preventing a vote.