PESTLE: Political

Political Section of Air Quality in Birmingham:


– Greater Birmingham Area includes the major cities of Birmingham and Hoover (and Cullman-

            ish, but we don’t care about them)

– 1,200,000 population in the Greater Birmingham Area (25% of Alabama’s total population live in GBA).  300,000 in Birmingham.  500,000 available jobs in Birmingham.  The majority of people live in the suburbs but commute to Birmingham by car.



– Government set up of Jefferson County and Shelby County – provided by Constitution, similar

  set up in both counties

            -Limited Home Rule (individual counties can’t raise taxes)

            -Entire State legislature has to vote for tax changes, then through the entire state.

– Lack of municipal cooperation à Each county pursuing their own interests (Jefferson County 

     = sewer funds, etc) therefore, government money going for different needs

            – Debt in Jefferson county = lack of money for funding future projects

– Relationship between Jefferson County Commission and Shelby County Commission

            -All commission members have to meet and agree to pass tax legislation within the                        counties, but legislation must go through state first.


– Amendment 91: Any money derived from fuel taxes must go toward highway repair and

  construction.  None can be directed toward a mass transit system, anywhere.

–  money available for mass-transit between Birmingham and Hoover, but counties never agreed on anything.  Couldn’t raise the rest of the needed money


–  With the current constitution and home-rule system, passing a tax for a mass-transit system would require lobbying across the state.  Over fifty percent of the state would have to support the tax in Jefferson and Shelby counties (that’s what it takes to pass a tax/any legislation). 

–  people in Alabama aren’t prone to ratifying amendments that raise taxes, whether the taxes affect them or not (ESPECIALLY PROPERTY TAXES, which Alabama has few of—not really any—very, very special exceptions.)


1.  The State of Alabama puts money toward highways systems instead of mass-transit

     (Amendment 91)

2.. Jefferson and Shelby County can’t raise any taxes without the entire State’s approval because of limited Home-Rule System.

3. Jefferson and Shelby County (and most other counties in the Greater Birmingham Area) don’t work together often (or well).

(4). Some alternate form(s) of transportation is needed in order to lower number of individuals commuting by car. 

Submitted by Kate and Maydda


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