Lost Millions In Liquor Sales Tax For County Schools Was Discovered By Happenstance

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The fact that the county schools had for years been missing out on over $1 million in annual revenue was discovered by happenstance, County Schools Finance Director Christie Jordan said Wednesday.

She said the schools are still owed $7.2 million by the city of Chattanooga for unpaid liquor sales taxes dating to 2005.

The city recently began making monthly payments, which is expected to bring in $1.1 million a year to the school system.

Ms. Jordan said in recent years only two municipalities had been giving the county schools the required share, though all of the municipalities were supposed to.

She said the loss was discovered when one of the two municipalities stopped paying and the other asked if it could quit. She said she started looking into the issue closer with the state revenue department. She found that under state law municipalities that do not have a school system must turn over half a percent of the tax to the county schools.

The city of Chattanooga did not have to do so as long as it had its own school system. However, it went out of the school business in 1998. Chattanooga began remitting the required tax share at that time, but, for some reason, the payments stopped in 2005.

The Hamilton County government has been paying its required share all along, Ms. Jordan said.

She said when she confirmed that the city should have been paying down through the years she advised a city financial official, "Hey, it looks like you owe us some money."

Supt. Rick Smith said county school officials are in talks with city officials on repayment of the $7.2 million.

He said, "We're in no big hurry," and said the county schools want to keep cordial relations with the city.

One possible topic in the talks, he said, is the large amount of stormwater runoff fees the county schools have to pay to the city.    


Some Closings Set Tuesday Due To Inclement Weather

Marion, Grundy and Polk schools are closed Tuesday due to the expected inclement weather. Walker County Transit will be closed Tuesday . (click for more)

Hamilton County Resident Lynea Ransom, 36, Charged With TennCare Fraud

Lynea Ransom, 36, was charged with TennCare fraud in Hamilton County, with prescription drugs. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced that L ynea Ransom , 36, of Chattanooga, is charged with nine counts of TennCare fraud. She is accused of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain the painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone by doctor shopping, or going to multiple ... (click for more)

The City Failed To Watch The Chattanooga History Museum Dollars - And Response (3)

The tell tale signs of the History Museum's folly have been evident for years. When I was a former member of City Council I interviewed Dr. Daryl Black, Ph.D. to determine if I should argue for or against the annual funding of his organization. His interview, the multi-year history of administrative non-performance (despite consistent repetitive funding), and a review of the organizational ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Greenholtz: A No-Brainer

I am going to make this as simple as I possibly can. There are three fine lawyers now running for Criminal Court Judge and anywhere you go there will be people who like and admire Tom Greenholtz, Boyd Patterson and Mike Little. But when we select a judge, it should never be based on popularity. That’s why Gov. Haslam picked Greenholtz over both Little and Patterson this summer to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Softball Picked To Win SoCon Title

The Chattanooga Mocs have been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2016 Southern Conference softball title by the league's head coaches. Senior second baseman Criket Blanco was named Preseason First-Team All-SoCon and sophomore pitcher Cori Jennings, senior shortstop Alyssa Taylor and senior outfielder Sam Taylor were selected to the Preseason Second-Team All-SoCon. ... (click for more)

Bradley Whips Soddy Daisy For AAA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Bradley Bears have won more state duals titles than anyone and they added another one after going four years without being in the championship round. It’s been a remarkable season for the Bears, who beat region-rival Soddy Daisy by a 52-21 margin for their latest state title. Saturday night’s   match was never really close as the Bears had a ... (click for more)