A Jefferson County commissioner is trying to bring back the old job tax.
Monday Commissioner Sandra Little Brown announced she is advertising a new occupational tax, one that will tax all those who work in Jefferson County, including professionals such as lawyers and doctors. Brown says county services are suffering.
Commissioners debated Monday the return of long lines at county courthouses and Center Point Annex. The lines are due in part to a new crackdown on automobile insurance coverage but it also due to a lack of county workers.
"It's a major problem. We have constituents calling commissioners offices, who are calling my office who are standing in line for three or four hours. That is not acceptable," Jefferson County manager Tony Petelos said.
Brown believes a new job tax is the answer to the county's problems.
"We need workers. We need money.We need a revenue generator," Brown said.
Brown's announcement caught many commissioners by surprised.
"I don't think it's doable in the session. Do we need it? I would like to get out of bankruptcy to see exactly where we are [first]," Commissioner Joe Knight said.
Commission President David Carrington said county services are suffering since the commission has trimmed their budget by 40 percent since they took office.
"The cuts have been draconian and some level of county services have to be restored and that has to happen through revenue," Carrington said.
So far a majority of Jefferson County lawmakers have opposed reinstating the job tax.
"If they kill the bill like they have done in the past, I could not let the session past without our needs. We need to ask them. They are the only ones that can make this happen. So I'm going to ask them," Brown said.
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