Businesses that paid the county occupation tax this year can now get all of their money back.
Madison County commissioners voted 3-1 Aug. 18 to offer full refunds for businesses that paid the occupation tax this year. Mike Youngblood opposed the measure, while Stanley Thomas, who favored implementation of the tax, abstained from voting.
Businesses that paid for the tax now have until Sept. 30 to file for a 100-percent refund from the county building inspection office.
After years of debate, county commissioners finally gave up in June on levying an occupation tax on businesses in unincorporated areas of the county.
One hundred and ninety businesses had already paid for the tax when the commissioners scrapped the plan. The board initially agreed to refund 50 percent of the fee for those businesses, saying that the companies had the benefit of having a business license in 2009.
But some business owners complained, saying that there was nothing to gain from the tax and that those businesses that ignored the tax were getting off scot-free, while those who abided by the law were being punished.