Birmingham-- Jefferson County officials are still waiting to hear whether they'll be allowed to spend occupational tax money while the legal battle against the tax winds its way through the courts. Earlier, a judge ruled the tax illegal. The county has appealed, saying if it loses the $75 million a year, the county will be financially devastated. WBHM's Tanya Ott asked County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins how the occupational tax became such a big chunk of the general fund budget.
Collins has asked county department chiefs to prepare for 33-percent budget cuts, on top of 10 percent cuts they already took. Some critics, including County Commissioner Jim Carns, question whether across-the-board cuts make sense.
Bettye Fine Collins talks about how this situation is one of the most compelling arguments for reforming Alabama's constitution.
~ Tanya Ott, June 3, 2009.