Jefferson County commissioners voted Tuesday to close satellite courthouses and go to a four-day work week to begin cutting the budget due to the loss of occupational revenues that support the general fund.
The actions will reduce the budget by $38 million and will reduce employees’ work week to 32 hours, according to a report in the Birmingham News. Commissioners will be considering other ways to trim the budget by nearly $80 million.
Although the county is suffering from lagging revenues and property taxes, the financial turmoil has been heightened by a local circuit judge’s ruling striking down an occupational tax and business license fee. The judge allowed the county to continue to collect and escrow the occupational revenues while it appeals his ruling to the Alabama Supreme Court.
The county — which also is struggling to restructure billions in sewer debt — has filed an emergency appeal to the state Supreme Court requesting permission to spend the revenues while the formal appeal is being considered.