A legal battle in state court left Jefferson County without its occupational tax, and sewer revenues are not enough to pay Wall Street for money the county has borrowed through years. Both problems have left the county on the precipice of bankruptcy, and deep cuts to the county budget might not be enough to keep the county solvent.
Commission President Bettye Fine Collins introduced the resolution to repeal the tax holiday. She and commissioners Shelia Smoot and William Bell voted to approve the resolution. Commissioner Bobby Humphryes voted against it. Commissioner Jim Carns was absent.
"For months we have warned the public that we would come to this day," Collins said.
To put the vote on the agenda at the last minute, Collins needed a vote of unanimous consent from her colleagues. Commissioner Humphryes could have killed the resolution in that vote, but he opted instead to let it come up for discussion.
"History has proven that recessions are depressions are a bad time to raise taxes," Humphryes said. "I think this is more or less an increase in taxes on the people."
According to Collins, the extra revenue will keep the county from having to lay off seven more employees.