Bradley School Board Votes To Hire Attorney Logan To Pursue Liquor Tax Funds

Saturday, January 25, 2014 - by Tony Eubank
Board members Nicholas Lillios and Vicki Beaty
Board members Nicholas Lillios and Vicki Beaty
- photo by Tony Eubank

The Bradley County School Board, at a special meeting Saturday morning, discussed strategy in the dispute over the distribution of the liquor drink tax funds. The board wound up hiring attorney Jim Logan to pursue the more than $700,000 he said earlier that was owed by the city of Cleveland. 

Attorney Logan explained again in brief the statute to the board, part of which reads as follows, "One half (1/2) of the proceeds shall be expended and distributed in the same manner as the county property tax for schools is expended and distributed; provided, however, that except in counties having a population of not less than twenty-seven thousand nine hundred (27,900) nor more than twenty-seven thousand nine hundred twenty (27,920), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census, any proceeds expended and distributed to municipalities which do not operate their own school systems separate from the county are required to remit one half (1/2) of their proceeds of the gross receipts liquor-by-the-drink tax to the county school fund."

Attorney Logan went on to say that there is really no real precedent concerning this situation, since there has not been any ruling established in a previous legal case. 

He also handed to the board copies of reports conducted by the University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service programs, CTAS (County Technical Assistance Service) and MTAS (Municipal Technical Assistance Service). CTAS and MTAS both have been compiling information on how the liquor by the drink tax revenues have been distributed thus far and are working to help find a solution to the issue. 

Attorney Logan added that the state legislature is awaiting an opinion in a similar situation involving Chattanooga and Hamilton County.

He discussed the possibility of a trial, preparing for depositions, and told the board that up to this point that Bradley County has paid for his services and that if they wished for him to continue working on their behalf that they would need to approve the contract to hire him. He said he was not particularly interest in making money and said, "I love the Bradley County School system, I was educated in it. I really believe that this is what's best for Bradley County."

The board expressed and debated varied concerns over cost of litigation and the possibility of a resolution via a referendum. Vice Chair Nicholas Lillios stated that he felt it would be a better plan to get the county to pass a referendum to collect liquor by the drink taxes instead of proceeding with what could be a very lengthy litigation.  

Board member Chris Turner shared a similar concern saying that since there is a lack of precedent that the probability for the board to win is low, "I can't march into litigation without having our homework."

Board member Troy Weathers stated that he feels that the school system is owed that money and that he feels strongly that the board should act quickly. Mr. Weathers moved to approve the attorney fee contract so that attorney Logan can continue his work on the school system's behalf.

Mr. Lillios offered a substitute motion, suggesting that the board drop the pursuit of past collections liquor tax monies and only work to pursue the collection of future taxes. His motion went nowhere. 

The board then voted unanimously to approve the attorney fee contract and hire attorney Logan. 

Board Chair Vicki Osment Beaty suggested that the board members look over the tentative resolution prepared by attorney Logan, so that they can vote on it at their Feb. 6 meeting. That resolution currently contains the following objectives, "The Executive Committee and Attorney James F. Logan, Jr. shall request that the City of Cleveland meet with and attempt to resolve any issues regarding the distribution of the aforesaid tax. Upon Failure of the Executive Committee and the City of Cleveland to resolve such issues, the Bradley County School System by and through the Bradley County School Board authorizes and requests the law firm of Logan-Thompson, P.C. to take such steps as are necessary to request a judicial ruling as to the meaning and enforceability of those provisions of state law which require that the liquor tax be distributed in like manner to the County property tax for schools is expended and distributed."

Attorney Jim Logan
Attorney Jim Logan
- Photo2 by Tony Eubank

Alexander Gives Statement On Reports Of Anthrax Shipment To Labs in Tennessee, Other States

Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday n ight  released the following statement on reports that the Defense Department may have inadvertently shipped live anthrax spores to a lab in Tennessee: “I’m very concerned about the possibility that lab workers in Tennessee or those in other states may have been exposed to anthrax because of this disturbing breach in safety procedures. ... (click for more)

Body Floating In The River Identified As Torrence Sivels, 39

A fisherman spotted a body floating in the Tennessee River early Wednesday morning. The body was later identified as that of Torrence Sivels, 39. Police said the cause of death was pending an autopsy. At approximately 1:50 a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to mile marker 474 of the Tennessee River for a body found. E mergency crews recovered ... (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Know About Dowries

There is a lawyer in Kenya who wants to meet President Barack Obama very badly. He knows the President will visit Kenya in July and the noble, young lawyer, Felix Kiprono, is very sincere when he says he wants to marry the oldest of the Obama daughters, 16-year-old Malia. He became interested in Malia in 2008 and can proudly say he has dated no other women since then, it has just ... (click for more)

Harris Leaves Tyner For Administrative Job At Dalewood Middle

Long-time Tyner Academy boys basketball coach Gerald Harris has resigned his coaching position to accept a job as assistant principal at Dalewood Middle School. Harris, 49, was offered and accepted the administration job last Friday and met with last year’s team on Tuesday to break the news to his players. “I’ve been coaching a long time and I’ve said goodbye before,” Harris ... (click for more)

Atlanta Silverbacks Dodge Chattanooga Upset In Overtime

The Chattanooga Football Club was minutes away from a 1-0 upset of visiting Atlanta Silverbacks in the third round of the US Open Cup. After battling for 87 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Chattanooga team representing the NPSL scored the potential game winner when Luke Winter scored of a cross from John Finlay. Minutes later, a foul in the box by CFC led to a Atlanta ... (click for more)