For several months, school systems across the state of Tennessee have been confronted with the failure of local governments to comply with the state mandated distribution of 50% of the revenue received by local governments from the liquor by the drink tax to local school systems as provided in the statute which governs such distribution. The statute provides that the revenue received by local governments shall be distributed in like manner as is the county property tax for education. Some municipalities which operate their own school systems have taken the position that they are entitled to all of the money which they receive to spend solely on their city or municipal school system.
The Bradley County School System and the Bradley County Government have attempted to resolve the issue which exists between the city and the county without the necessity of any legal action. The city has expressed its desire to delay any settlement until perhaps some other local governments seek an answer to the question. The Bradley County School Board has requested the law firm of Logan-Thompson, P.C. to ask a court to render a declaratory judgment as to the meaning of the words in the statute.
Bradley County's local government has agreed to pay unto to the school systems over 50% of the revenue received from the liquor by the drink tax. This will result in the local school systems receiving additional funds from the time of the inception of the tax to the present day. It appears that the courts will have to decide whether the City of Cleveland is bound by the statute or whether they, operating their own school system, will be able to keep all of the money.