Financial problems worsen in Jefferson County

Associated Press - June 9, 2009 5:54 AM ET

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Officials in Alabama's most populous county are trying to figure their way out of a worsening financial mess.

Members of the Jefferson County Commission are scheduled to meet behind closed doors Tuesday in Birmingham to discuss alternatives to a court ruling that's caused a major revenue crunch. The problem comes with the county already trying to avoid bankruptcy because of a debt crisis.

After years of litigation, a judge has barred the county from spending revenues from an occupational tax that provides one-fourth of the county's operating budget.

Drastic cuts are possible; commissioners already have outlined some $52 million in reductions. Officials say a vote could come next week on possible cutbacks.

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