BRADLEY COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM BY AND THROUGH THE BRADLEY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION ET AL. v. THE CITY OF CLEVELAND, TENNESSEE - Articles

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Posted by: Barry Kolar on Dec 27, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellants, Bradley County School System, by and through the Bradley County Board of Education, and Bradley County, Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Douglas S. Johnston, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, the City of Cleveland, Tennessee.

Kristin Ellis Berexa and Mark E. McGrady, Nashville, Tennessee, for the amicus curiae, Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management Pool, Inc.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This is one of four separate actions currently before this Court with the common issue of whether the version of Tennessee Code Annotated § 57-4-306(a)(2)(A) in effect prior to the July 2014 amendment of that statute required a municipality governed by its own liquor-by-the-drink referendum and operating its own school system to share one-half of its liquor-by-the-drink tax revenue with the county in which the municipality was located when the county had not enacted a liquor-by-the-drink referendum. The county commenced the instant action by filing a complaint requesting declaratory judgment of its asserted right to a portion of liquor-by-the-drink tax revenue collected within the municipality. Upon subsequent competing motions for summary judgment, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the municipality, finding that the municipality was entitled to keep all liquor-by-the-drink tax monies distributed to it by the Tennessee Commissioner of Revenue (“the Commissioner”). Upon the county’s motion to alter or amend, the trial court reserved judgment on the issue of whether the municipality was entitled to the local political subdivision’s portion of the liquor-by-the-drink tax revenue for sales that took place at private clubs within the municipal limits of the municipality prior to the municipality’s 2002 passage of its referendum authorizing liquor-by-the-drink sales. Following consideration of a motion for summary judgment on this remaining issue filed by the municipality and a response filed by the county, the trial court again granted summary judgment in favor of the municipality, dismissing the county’s complaint in its entirety. The county has appealed. Determining that the municipality was not required under the applicable version of the statute to share its liquor-by-the- drink tax revenues with the county, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.