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 Bradley County Jail Booking Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BOMAR, KELLY LYNN  9690 HOSTA LN OOLTEWAH, 37363  Age at Arrest: 50 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF DISORDERLY CONDUCT PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- BOYER, CHARLES OVERTON  77710 LEE HIGHWAY APT 128 CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 37 years old ... (click for more)

Liberal Conspiracy Afoot

According to Roy Exum’s Sunday column, there are now upwards of six or seven Democrats in Hamilton County, and all of them have secretly maneuvered their way onto the boards of a couple of dozen local organizations. Unlike Republicans, some of them serve on multiple boards and some of them serve with one another on the same boards. This is outrageous. We all know that boards and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Is This Civil War II?

Jack Minzey, by all accounts, was a beloved professor at Eastern Michigan and, as the head of the university’s School of Education, wrote many books and papers. Some were on the Civil War – he was an avid student of our nation’s worst moment – and his beliefs how to better public education will be quoted for years. Dr. Minzey died at age 89 last month and just last week, the ... (click for more)

Six Chattanooga Baseball, Softball Teams Open State Play This Week

The state tournament matchups in baseball and softball have been announced. Only thing left is for the fortunate teams that have reached the 2018 TSSAA Spring Fling in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to make a final push toward possible championships, the most prized trophies in high school sports. While only two local baseball teams -- Baylor and McCallie -- are ... (click for more)

Lookouts Fall to Shuckers Monday (12-7) In Third Straight Loss To Biloxi

The Lookouts offense came up strong, but when the other team still has more walks that your team has hits, it is hard to win.  Both teams were prone to walking and waltzing home last night as the Shuckers beat the Lookouts 12-7 in their final game of the series. The Lookouts, defending co-champions of the 2017 Southern League, remain in first place in the North Division, ... (click for more)