Jefferson County taxpayers could be hit with an increased fee to help improve service for those trying to renew their car tags.
Thursday there were no long lines at the Jefferson County Courthouse in downtown Birmingham but long lines have been a major problem over the last few years. The county cut back on employees because of money troubles.
Homewood Rep. Paul DeMarco is sponsoring a bill in the upcoming legislative session that will allow Jefferson County cities to provide car tag renewal service in exchange for up to a $5 transaction fee. DeMarco believes this will cut the long lines at the courthouses in Birmingham and Bessemer.
Thursday, Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown suggested the county should push to amend DeMarco's bill to also allow the county to increase its $1.50 transaction fee to up to $5.
"It actually hurts the county and if the county is offered the same $5 for a transaction it could help us open windows, open up satellite houses," Brown said.
Brown estimates the money could generate $2.5 million which could help hire more employees. Still Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmie Stephens is not willing to back the increase just yet.
"I think it needs to be looked at again. To that extent? I'm not advocating any change," Stephens said.
Meanwhile the county is changing to a new computer software program to speed up the tag renewal process. It's expected to take about two month to implement. Jefferson County Commissioners approved paying a company $200,000 to train employees and maintenance work on the new system Thursday.
Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive