Court rules on tax dispute

Court rules on tax dispute

October 31st, 2012 by Paul Leach in News

Bradley County Commission Chairman Louie Alford

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in a case involving the disputed division of sales tax revenues between Cleveland and Bradley County.

On Tuesday, the appellate court addressed a revenue-sharing dispute with origins driven by sales tax increases implemented separately by the county and city in 2009.

The disagreement involved whether revenue-sharing agreements dating back to 1967 -- formulated on city and county student populations and whether the revenues were generated within city limits -- applied to the 2009 situation.

Under the ruling, the city is eligible to receive "the same amounts" of revenue it would have received under its 2009 increase through the 2010 fiscal year, reversing a Chancery Court ruling. The appellate court, however, upheld the prior revenue distribution agreements between the city and county.

Attorneys for the county and city could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

The exact financial impact of the ruling has not been determined. Several officials said they have not had a chance to review the ruling or consult with legal counsel.

"I expect we will talk about this tomorrow when we meet with the city," Bradley County Commission Chairman Louie Alford said in regard to a planned joint meeting between county and city leaders today.

The sales tax dispute has caused a rift between the twol governing bodies. Earlier this year, the Bradley County Commission voted to stay out of joint capital ventures with the city until the matter was resolved.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Contact him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.