Photo by Sydney Cromwell
Jefferson County Hoover revenue office
The new Jefferson County satellite revenue office is in the Hoover Court Town Center off U.S. 31 between Green Valley Drugs and Tidmore Flags.
Jefferson County plans to open its new satellite revenue office in Hoover on Monday.
The 10,460-square-foot office will be in the Hoover Court Town Center off U.S. 31 and about a mile from Interstate 65, giving people an alternate location to get car tags and various licenses or pay property or sales taxes.
The office, between Green Valley Drugs and Tidmore Flags, will replace the temporary and smaller satellite office that has been operating at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium since August 2014.
The office at the Hoover Met handled vehicle tags, vehicle title applications and licenses for boating, hunting, fishing and motorcycle driving, but the new office will do all of that plus allow people to get state and county business licenses and pay property taxes and county sales taxes, Jefferson County Revenue Director Travis Hulsey said.
County officials also are working with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to get equipment and computer connections installed to allow people to renew driver’s licenses at the Hoover office as well, Hulsey said. He hopes to have that service available by early January, he said.
People applying for an Alabama driver’s license for the first time still will have to go to an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency office, Hulsey said.
The Jefferson County satellite office at the Hoover Met in September handled 8,059 transactions, which represents 8.9 percent of the total revenue transactions handled by Jefferson County that month and 13 percent of the walk-in traffic, Hulsey said.
The former satellite office on Green Springs Highway in Homewood handled 28 percent of the county’s revenue transactions, and county officials say they expect the Hoover office to rise to that level as well.
“I really think it’s going to be a huge influx in a relatively short period of time,” Hulsey said. “I fully expect it to be our largest location when it’s all said and done.”
Having the temporary office at the Hoover Met has been a huge benefit for people in that part of the county, he said. “We’re getting a ton of compliments. They’re extremely happy to have the convenience,” he said.
The new office at the Hoover Court Town Center is all indoor and will provide people protection from the elements, such as rain or extreme heat or cold, Hulsey said. People going to the temporary office at the Hoover Met have been standing in lines outside, like they do to buy tickets to events there. Lines at the Met could be moved into the concourse to keep people out of the rain, but even those lines were outdoors.
Photo from Hoover Police Department
Jefferson County Hoover revenue office interior
The new Jefferson County satellite revenue office in Hoover, Ala., will have 17 customer service windows.
The new office also will be larger, with more customer service windows. There have been five windows available at the Hoover Met, but the new office will have 17 windows, Hulsey said.
The revenue office initially plans to have 12 windows open, including a separate line for business licenses, and the tax collector will have two windows, Hulsey said. Once the facility is able to renew driver’s licenses, there will be separate lines for driver’s licenses, he said.
The number of windows that are open and staffing levels will fluctuate, depending on demand, Hulsey said.
He expects Monday to be a hectic day because staff still will be adjusting to the new location and Monday will effectively be serving as the last day of October (even though its Nov. 2) because the last day of the month fell on a weekend, he said.
The last day of the month is always a busy day, and October is always a busy month because it is the renewal month for business fleets and car rental companies, he said.
For these reasons, the official “grand opening” ceremony for the new revenue office is being delayed until Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with both Jefferson County and Hoover officials expected to be present.
Hoover was chosen for the satellite office because it is the county’s second largest city (with an estimated 84,000 residents) and because of the large number of auto dealerships that handle vehicle titles, county officials have said.
The new Hoover office is close to the same size of the former satellite office in Homewood and probably will serve as the storage site for the many types of vehicle tags the county must keep on hand because of available storage space there, Hulsey said. There now are close to 300 different vehicle tag options in Alabama, he said.
The satellite office in Hoover will be open to all residents and businesses in Jefferson County, as are the revenue offices at the county courthouses in Birmingham and Bessemer and the satellite office in Center Point.
The revenue office at one time also had satellite offices in Gardendale and Forestdale, but those offices were closed along with the one in Homewood in 2011 due to budget constraints.
Some county commissioners have made inquiries about reopening the satellite offices in Gardendale and Forestdale, but that will depend on how county finances go, Hulsey said. “We’re just focused right now on getting Hoover open,” he said.
Jefferson County signed a 10-year lease with Hoover Court Investors LLC and Murer LLC and agreed to pay $9,588 per month for the first five years and $10,068 per month for years 6-10, said Jeff Smith, director of the county’s general services department.
The County Commission approved spending $850,000 to build, equip and furnish the new office, but it looks like the total cost will be closer to $700,000 or $720,000, Smith said. The county was able to save some money by using items from some of the closed satellite offices, such as safes and some of the furniture, he said.
The office at the Hoover Met officially closes at 5 p.m. Friday, and the new office will open Monday morning. Hulsey said he’s ready.
“We’re looking forward to being over there,” he said. “The new facility looks great. I’m really pleased with it.”