County School Board To Sue City Over $11 Million In Liquor Tax Funds; Budget Includes Use Of $1.9 Million In Fund Balance

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 8-1 to sue the city of Chattanooga, saying it has balked at paying $11 million in liquor tax funds.

School Board Attorney Scott Bennett plans to file suit in Chancery Court.

The board also passed a $345.3 million budget.

To make it balance, the board had to dip into the rainy day fund (fund balance) to get $1.95 million.

Instead of $4 million for maintenance of school buildings, there will be $3 million available.

The school system is having to pick up $600,000 in expenses for middle school curriculum counselors that had been funded by the Lyndhurst Foundation.

The schools also faced significant costs at the new STEM School at Chattanooga State.

The lawsuit against the city was not on the agenda, but attorney Bennett briefed the board at an extended executive session just prior to the meeting.

Officials said they have tried to meet with Mayor Andy Berke on the issue, but have not gotten any assurances of payment.

School officials said after the alleged debt was first discussed, the city began charging the schools a stormwater fee on its many schools and administration buildings spread throughout the city.

A number of school systems across the state are saying they should have been getting a share of the liquor tax all along and are owed millions of dollars.

School board members were told that a recent opinion from the state attorney general's office sides with the school systems, saying the amount is a valid debt that cannot be forgiven.

Board member Jeffrey Wilson said he hated to see one local government suing another.

Click here to read the opinion by the attorney general.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, ALEXIS 7751 NAUTICAL WAY CHATTANOOGA, 37416 28 Hamilton County DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE BAILEY NELSON, NAKOMA JOY 6393 TELETHA LN RED BANK, 37415 18 Red Bank POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BROWN, ATTILAH DENISE 2402 LEANN CIRCLE CHATTANOOGA, 37406 ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, JEROME DEAN 859 GLADES ROAD EATONTON, 31024 48 Chattanooga DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE DRIVERS TO EXERCISE DUE CARE OPEN CONTAINER LAW ALEXANDER, JOHNNY L 817 EAST 49TH ST CHATTANOOGA, 37410 46 Chattanooga DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE REGISTRATION, EXPIRED ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)

Vol Seniors Have Final Practice At Neyland Stadium

KNOXVILLE, Tenn .  – Tennessee football coach Butch Jones had a holiday version of "Sudden Change" for the bowl-bound Vols on Sunday afternoon. The Vols practiced in Neyland Stadium, providing a big-time atmosphere for the final full day of on-campus preparation for the TaxSlayer Bowl before breaking for Christmas. "Obviously it's very special any time you can come ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)