Bradley County Schools Sue City Of Cleveland Over Liquor Tax Funds

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Bradley County Schools on Monday sued the city of Cleveland over the issue of liquor tax funds.

Johnny McDaniel, director of schools, and Vicki Beaty, board chairwoman, said, "Our attorney, Jim Logan, has filed a complaint to recover for the Bradley County Board of Education the funds which are due and owing to Bradley County Schools by the city of Cleveland. 

"We have attempted at every turn to work with the city of Cleveland to negotiate a resolution of the issues raised in our complaint for declaratory judgment. We believe it is in the best interest of students in Bradley County to receive a portion of the liquor tax revenue.  Funding of education should not be dependent on whether or not a student lives within or outside the city limits of Cleveland or where the liquor is sold.  Our businesses, industries, and the future of all the citizens of Bradley County will be best served by sharing these revenues based on the student population of our respective systems as the law allows. 

"In our discussions with the City Council, they proposed delaying the resolution of the issue for 120 days which would have been past the time the Bills would be amended and passed.  HB 1403 and SB 1464 would change the distribution of revenue proceeds from sale of liquor by the drink. We offered to delay the resolution of the issue on condition that the city agree they would be bound by the law as it exists.  This was rejected by the city of Cleveland.

"We merely ask that the city of Cleveland follow the law as it is stated.  If they will do so, the complaint for declaratory judgment will be dismissed immediately.  We believe that continued cooperation between our respective school systems and our respective governments is in the best interest of the citizens of Bradley County."

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