JeffCo job can’t be found in Shelby Co.

Published 3:14 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Editor,

As a Jefferson County employee, I feel I must respond to this paper’s publisher regarding his comments on the Jefferson County occupational tax being an unfair tax on Shelby County residents.

The occupational tax is actually a privilege license for working in Jefferson County and it never was an actual tax.

The politician who implemented the county’s privilege license fee is the same one who decided the Alabama legislature could use it for a different project needing funding, and when that was declared illegal, the license fee was taken away from Jefferson County.

Now, that legislator has penned and passed a bill that is worded so vaguely that if it is implemented it will be virtually impossible to audit payees for compliance to the law. The bill reads that .45 percent tax is on “net” income. What does that mean? Does anyone know?

I first and second interviewed with Shelby County more than a year ago for the same position I now hold at Jefferson County. Shelby County never filled the position. Instead, they enacted a hiring freeze due to budget shortfalls.

When Shelby County had serious financial problems such as those due to the water treatment problems they passed a tax to cover the problem and made it go away.

Jefferson County has serious problems caused by greedy politicians and the courts will have to fix some of that. That seems to be happening now.

In the meantime, I thank God that my hard work has paid off and I continue to hold down a job with the people who struggle to make Jefferson County survive during this time of crisis.

I cannot get a similar job in Shelby County, and I doubt if any of the Shelby County people who complain about the “unfair tax” could get a good job in Shelby County, too.

The jury is still out on how the Alabama Supreme Court will rule regarding Jefferson County being able to use the still collected .5 percent privilege license fee.

With the old or the new version of a Jefferson County occupational tax, the wealthy seem to have unfair exemptions and all Alabama citizens need to pay close attention to that.