Jefferson County, Alabama



Named after Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, Jefferson County was founded in 1819 by the Alabama Legislature. Home to nearly 660,000 residents, Jefferson County is Alabama’s most populated county.

Jefferson County is governed by five Commissioners elected from specific districts of the County. Each Commissioner is responsible for administering assigned departments and functions of County government. The Commission positions are identified as: Finance and General Services, Environmental Services, Roads and Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Information Technology. The Commissioners choose one of their number to serve as President of the Commission. The President is the Commissioner of Finance and General Services. The President’s duties include presiding over Commission meetings and signing contracts and other documents.

For additional information about Jefferson County, Alabama please visit Jefferson County Quick Facts from the US Census Bureau

Jefferson County Commissioners

COMMISSIONER Lashunda Scales (District 1)
Public Works, Community Services & Intergovernmental Relations …….....(205) 214-5507
Room 240

COMMISSIONER Sheila Tyson (District 2)
Community Development and Human Resource Services …….....................(205) 325-5074
Room 250

COMMISSIONER James A. (Jimmie) Stephens - President (District 3)
Administrative Services, Public Works and Infrastructure ………………............(205) 325-5555
Room 210

COMMISSIONER Joe Knight - President Pro Tem (District 4)
Judicial Administration, Emergency Management and Finance ...................(205) 325-5070
Room 220

COMMISSIONER Mike Bolin (District 5)
Information Technology and Economic Development ………….........................(205) 325-5503
Room 230

The following is a list of services Jefferson County provides for its citizens. In Alabama, counties operate under “Dillon’s Rule” meaning“ that a unit of local government may exercise only those powers that the state expressly grants to it,” according to Black’s Law Dictionary.

·       Maintenance of roads, bridges, signs, rights-of-way, and signals in unincorporated Jefferson County (the county does have some through-road agreements with cities) The state (Alabama Depart of Transportation) is responsible for Interstates and state highway pavement and maintenance. To report an issue call: 205-325-5141 or use the MyJeffCo app.  To view current Roads and Transportation projects visit the Roads and Transportation webpage here and click on "projects" on the ClearGov image. 

·       Sewer and water reclamation. We handle wastewater from homes and businesses in Jefferson County and also the wastewater for neighboring North Shelby County and parts of St. Clair County. There are 9 water reclamation facilities in the County and we are one of the largest systems in the country. You can report a sewer overflow 24/7 at 205-942-0681. Bill payment, and sewer permit information can be found on the Environmental Services webpage:

·        Residential Garbage pickup – Jefferson County, AL is not a mandatory pick-up county therefore it does not provide garbage service to residents. It does, in the interest of keeping rates for citizens low, negotiate a contract with a provider for residents in unincorporated Jefferson County. The current provider is AmWaste. Contact: 205-788-1400.

·       Illegal dumping – The County has one inspector to investigate illegal dumping. It can take up to 2 years to prosecute a case. Once the investigator has done his initial investigation, roads and transportation will pickup the refuse. To report illegal dumping call Development Services or use the MyJeffCo app: 205-582-6555.

·       Revenue Department – This department administers and enforces several federal, state, county, and municipal statutes, ordinances, and regulations. This includes collecting and distributing motor vehicle taxes, registration fees, hunting/fishing license fees, privilege(business) license, sales and special revenue sales taxes. State driver’s licenses offices are located within the revenue department but you can only get a new driver’s license or STAR ID at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency located on Bankhead Highway or the Bessemer Courthouse. You can renew licenses online at the state website:

·        Community Services: This office administers federal and state grant programs for the quality of life for all citizens in Jefferson County. This programs include:

  • Jefferson County HUD entitlement Program
  • Community Development Block Grant or CDBG housing rehabilitation programs.
  • Emergency solutions grants
  • HOME (affordable housing)
  • EDA/CDBG Revolving Loan Program
  • DOJ and SAMSHA Programs
  • Senior Service programs that take place at community shelters and center throughout the county

·       Development Services: This department facilitates investment in the County and promotes orderly growth and environmental quality to create a balanced, sustainable community, one that enhances quality of life and protects health, safety, and welfare of residents, business owners and visitors. This department houses (205-325-5321):

  • Planning and Zoning
  • Online permitting
  • Code enforcement
  • Engineers and permit/plan review
  • Zoning/Litter Violations: 205-582-6555

·       Board of Registrars: The Jefferson County Board of Registrars maintains an up-to-date list of all registered voters in Jefferson County. You can confirm your location by calling the Board of Registrars office at 205-325-5550. Information on voting locations, absentee voting, voting locations and frequently asked questions can be found on their webpage.

·        Locations: The County maintains 2 courthouses, downtown and in Bessemer, and 3 satellite locations: Center Point, Hoover, and the Northern location in Gardendale.

·       The Tax Collector, Tax Assessor are elected officials that are located in the Jefferson County courthouse. These offices collect taxes according to state statute.

·       The Board of Equalization is a state board that has 3 members who serve as a quasi-judicial review panel for the property owners who wish to challenge the market value of their property. A formula outlined by the state is followed in assessing property. Market values set by a property appraiser may be changed by the board when a property owner can prove the appraised value is not based on the property’s fair market value.

·       Finance: Manages the financial operations of the Commission through accounting, payroll, budgeting and purchasing. The Department also manages the County’s debt portfolio, and a cooperative purchasing program PACA, which reduces costs to members including many cities within Jefferson County.

  • The Alabama constitution addresses the authority of counties and there are limitations to what “home rule” counties have vs. cities.
  • Counties are prohibited from lending credit or granting a thing of value to private individuals and interests.
  • There is a constitutional debt limit for counties.
  • The legislature or local governmental entity is prohibited from increasing or decreasing the compensation of public officials during a term in office. And is also prohibited in granting additional compensation to employees after service has been rendered.
  • Counties are also restricted from levying advalorem taxes without a legislative act and vote of the people.