Liquor tax litigation hearing is Tuesday: Motion is filed to consolidate
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Jun 30, 2014 | 1307 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jimmy Logan
Jimmy Logan
A motion to consolidate has been filed in the liquor-by-the-drink tax ligation hearing set for Tuesday.

The case stems from a disagreement on whether revenue from mixed drink sales has been properly distributed to Bradley County Schools by the city of Cleveland. The revenue comes from taxes on liquor served and consumed at the same location.

Attorney James Logan of Logan-Thompson P.C., who is representing Bradley County Schools in the litigation, filed the motion earlier this month.

Logan said he filed the motion because a case dealing with the similar issues has been filed in McMinn County.

He said since a decision on one case could impact the other, he wanted the opportunity to have the McMinn parties speak in the Cleveland hearing.

The motion to consolidate asks that the McMinn and Bradley cases be heard jointly to “avoid unnecessary cost, delay or potential for inconsistent orders.”

The case will be heard by Chancellor Jerri Bryant in Chancery Court.

In April, Bradley County Schools asked for a declaratory judgment and 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,” according to a press release.

Since then, the city has filed a request to dismiss the case.

City officials maintain that the revenue has been distributed correctly because there was never an audit finding stating otherwise.

The city has returned money Bradley County government officials have attempted to pay as what the county sees as taxes previously distributed incorrectly.

Attorney Douglas Johnston Jr. of Barrett Johnston, LLC is representing the city in the litigation.

Legislation concerning the issue was passed this year, but listed Bradley and Hamilton counties as exemptions because there was pending litigation.

The legislation only addressed distribution for the coming year, not indefinitely.

Permanent agreements must be worked out between the local governments and school systems.

Any new lawsuits filed concerning the matter will be heard in Davidson County.