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Jefferson County Commission celebrates ruling and grateful for efforts of all involved

Members of the Jefferson County Commission along with members of the Jefferson County legislative delegation held a joint press conference this afternoon to celebrate a landmark ruling issued today by the Alabama Supreme Court upholding the validity of Act 2015-225, which will be used to support the refinancing of outstanding debt from a 2004/2005 school warrant that provided Jefferson County schools with $1B for capital improvement projects.

The Court found that Constitutional Amendment 14 applied retroactively and does not violate the Budget Isolation Resolution provision of the Alabama Constitution, among other things.

This ruling is significant because it enables the County to proceed with the refinancing of the outstanding school warrant debt. The financial support for Jefferson County schools from the one cent tax enacted in 2004 has long been utilized and obligated. There are currently no new benefits to area schools from the bond issuances as annual revenues from the tax can only being used to service the outstanding debt. This ruling allows for the outstanding debt to be refinanced and, without raising taxes, an estimated $60 million will be redistributed annually as follows:

- $36.3M Jefferson County General Fund (Roads & Transportation, Economic Development, Court Security)
- $18 M Jefferson County School Systems
- $3.6M Jefferson County Community Services Fund
- $2M Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority
- $500,000 Birmingham Zoo

Based on annual student enrollment, Jefferson County area schools will begin to receive a share of $18M each and every year going forward. This new funding source for schools will be unrestricted thus allowing each school district to utilize their funding as they see fit.

This was a collaborative, bipartisan effort between the Jefferson County Commission and the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation and highlights what can be accomplished as a community when we work together to find common ground.

The Jefferson County Commission celebrates the Alabama Supreme Court ruling and grateful for the tireless efforts of all involved.