BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Jefferson County Commission, as expected, voted today to skip a $15 million non-sewer debt payment and use the money for operating expenses.
A commission committee last week voted to skip the payment. Today's vote in a regular commission meeting made it official.
County Manager Tony Petelos said the money will allow the cash-strapped county to continue operating through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The payment, due Oct. 1, will be the second $15 payment on general obligation debt the county has skipped this year.
Petelos said the commission will prepare a $180 million fiscal 2013 budget, which is nearly $40 million less than the current fiscal 2012 spending plan and more than $130 million smaller than the fiscal 2011 county budget.
The county, which filed for bankruptcy in November, has been forced to slash spending repeatedly and reduce its work force drastically since the Alabama Supreme Court last year threw out its occupational tax because of a technical defect in the way the Alabama Legislature enacted it. The Legislature declined to approve a replacement tax in both its 2011 and 2012 regular sessions.