Occupational Tax - p6

1020755; 1020758; 1020763; 1020764; l02076 1020773

II. Standard of Review

The trial court made 14 separate findings of fact, none of which is in dispute. This appeal concerns questions of law, including the interpretation of statutory provisions. Therefore, we review the issues presented by this appeal de novo, and the trial court’s decision carries no presumption of correctness. Exparte Baron Servs., Inc. [ 1011635, April 4, 2003] — So. 2d — (Ala. 2003) . Additionally, we note that an ordinance enacted by a local governing body “is presumed reasonable and valid, and that the burden is on the one challenging the ordinance to clearly show its invalidity.” Jefferson County v. Richards 805 So. 2d 690, 706 (Ala. 2001) .


3 taxpayers contend that because Ala. Code 1975, § 40-

12-4, provides authority to tax, it must be interpreted most strictly against the taxing authority and in favor of all taxpayers. However, the rule regarding strict interpretation in favor of the taxpayer applies only when a “taxing statute” or ordinance is being interpreted. Section 40-12-4 is not a “taxing statute” in that it does not levy a tax; rather, § 40- 12-4 merely authorizes counties to enact ordinances that levy taxes. See, e.g., City of Arab v. Cherokee Elec. Coop. 673 So. 2d 751, 761 (Ala. 1995) ( statutes must be construed most strictly against the taxing authority and most favorably for the taxpayer.”) (emphasis added); City of Birmingham v. AmSouth Bank, N.A. 591 So. 2d 473, 477 (Ala. 1991) (“A basic rule of statutory construction is that ambiguous tax statutes land ordinances are construed against