Chapter 1
General Provisions

Part 1
Counties Generally

5-1-101. Enumeration of counties.

The state is divided into the following counties: Anderson, Bedford, Benton, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carroll, Carter, Cheatham, Chester, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, Davidson, Decatur, DeKalb, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Fentress, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardeman, Hardin, Hawkins, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Loudon, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Maury, McMinn, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Montgomery, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Perry, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Robertson, Rutherford, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Shelby, Smith, Stewart, Sullivan, Sumner, Tipton, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Weakley, White, Williamson and Wilson.

Code 1858, § 75; Shan., § 92a; Code 1932, § 110; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-101.

Cross-References. Acts fixing boundaries left unrepealed, § 1-2-105.

Grand divisions, title 4, ch. 1, part 2.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 2.

Attorney General Opinions. Cities and counties lack statutory authority to regulate mortgage transactions, OAG 03-016, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/11/03).

Collateral References.

Liability of municipality or other governmental unit for failure to provide police protection. 90 A.L.R.5th 273.

5-1-102. Jurisdiction over boundary waters.

Counties bounded by a stream or other waters shall have concurrent jurisdiction over the whole of the waters lying between them.

Code 1858, § 405; Shan., § 497; Code 1932, § 743; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-102.

Cross-References. State boundary waters, §§ 4-1-103, 4-1-104.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 17 Tenn. Juris., Jurisdiction, § 5.

Law Reviews.

Constitutional Law — 1963 Tennessee Survey (James C. Kirby, Jr.), 17 Vand. L. Rev. 944 (1964).

5-1-103. Corporate capacity.

Every county is a corporation and the members of the legislative body of each county assembled are the representatives of the county and authorized to act for it.

Code 1858, § 402; Shan., § 493; Code 1932, § 739; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-103.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

A county is defined to be “a government within a government,” and cannot be dissolved or destroyed by direct legislative enactment. Ferguson v. Tyler, 134 Tenn. 25, 183 S.W. 162, 1915 Tenn. LEXIS 145 (1916).

The county, which existed as a unit of government when the state was organized under the Constitution of 1796, is an integral part or arm of the state; and no distinct line of demarcation can be drawn between county and state officers, with official duty as the only test, or between county purposes and state purposes, with objective as the only test. Davidson County v. Kirkpatrick, 150 Tenn. 546, 266 S.W. 107, 1924 Tenn. LEXIS 29 (1924).

Counties are created by statute and the statutes prescribe their powers, duties and liabilities. Armitage v. Holt, 21 Tenn. App. 273, 109 S.W.2d 411, 1937 Tenn. App. LEXIS 31 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1937).

This statute does not mean that no other body can act in certain capacities for the county. State ex rel. Bobo v. Moore, 207 Tenn. 622, 341 S.W.2d 746, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 502 (1960).

2. County as a Corporation.

A county is a corporation. Maury County v. Lewis County, 31 Tenn. 236, 1851 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1851); Bridgenor v. Rodgers, 41 Tenn. 259, 1860 Tenn. LEXIS 61 (1860); Dulaney v. Dunlap, 43 Tenn. 306, 1866 Tenn. LEXIS 56 (1866); Hunter v. Justices of Campbell County, 47 Tenn. 49, 1869 Tenn. LEXIS 7 (1869); Grant v. Lindsay, 58 Tenn. 651, 1872 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (1872); Winston v. Tennessee & P.R.R., 60 Tenn. 60, 1873 Tenn. LEXIS 415 (1873); Hawkins County v. East Tenn. & V.R.R., 1 Shan. 290 (1874); Wood v. Tipton County, 66 Tenn. 112, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 88, 32 Am. Rep. 561 (1874); State ex rel. Ross v. Anderson County, 67 Tenn. 249, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 366 (1874); Beck v. Puckett, 2 Shan. 490 (1877); Davidson County v. Olwill, 72 Tenn. 28, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1879); Lauderdale County v. Fargason, 75 Tenn. 153, 1881 Tenn. LEXIS 91 (1881); Nashville & K. R. Co. v. Wilson County, 89 Tenn. 597, 15 S.W. 446, 1890 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1891); Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 115 Tenn. 526, 92 S.W. 238, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1906); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907); Edmonson v. Walker, 137 Tenn. 569, 195 S.W. 168, 1917 Tenn. LEXIS 169 (1917), overruled, State ex. rel. Williamson County v. A&F Constr., — S.W.3d —, 2009 Tenn. App. LEXIS 275 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2009); State ex rel. Thompson v. Read, 152 Tenn. 442, 278 S.W. 71, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 88 (1925); Cannon County v. McConnell, 152 Tenn. 555, 280 S.W. 24, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 101 (1926); State ex rel. Harned v. Meador, 153 Tenn. 634, 284 S.W. 890, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 49 (1926); Bank of Erin v. Houston County, 6 Tenn. App. 638, — S.W.2d —, 1928 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1928); Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. v. Marshall County, 161 Tenn. 236, 30 S.W.2d 268, 1929 Tenn. LEXIS 54 (1929).

A county is a public corporation, created by the government for political purposes, and invested with subordinate legislative powers, to be exercised for local purposes connected with the public good, and such powers are, in general, subject to the control of the general assembly of the state. Maury County v. Lewis County, 31 Tenn. 236, 1851 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1851); Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907).

For some purposes, counties are merely civil divisions, but for other purposes, they are certainly corporations. They are, therefore, sometimes called quasi-corporations. Louisville & N. R. Co. v. County Court of Davidson, 33 Tenn. 637, 1854 Tenn. LEXIS 81 (1854); Winston v. Tennessee & P.R.R., 60 Tenn. 60, 1873 Tenn. LEXIS 415 (1873); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907).

Counties in this state are clothed with the powers and attributes of corporations to a sufficient extent to be able to act and contract, and whether this be by the action of the county legislative body, or a vote of the people, or any other agency, can make no difference. Louisville & N. R. Co. v. County Court of Davidson, 33 Tenn. 637, 1854 Tenn. LEXIS 81 (1854); Beck v. Puckett, 2 Shan. 490 (1877).

In Tennessee, counties are considered public municipal corporations with limited powers, and liable as such. White's Creek Turnpike Co. v. Davidson County, 82 Tenn. 73, 1884 Tenn. LEXIS 107 (1884), superseded by statute as stated in, Jenkins v. Loudon County, 736 S.W.2d 603, 1987 Tenn. LEXIS 1084 (Tenn. 1987).

Considered with respect to their powers, duties and liabilities, counties stand low down in the scale of corporate existence. They are ranked as quasi-corporations to distinguish them from private corporations and from municipal corporations proper. Burnett v. Maloney, 97 Tenn. 697, 37 S.W. 689, 1896 Tenn. LEXIS 197, 34 L.R.A. 541 (1896); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907).

3. Counties and Municipal Corporations Distinguished.

Counties do not hold and operate under charters, as do municipal corporations, they have no franchises, they can make no bylaws, they have the same powers and duties throughout the state, and other distinctions are stated. Burnett v. Maloney, 97 Tenn. 697, 37 S.W. 689, 1896 Tenn. LEXIS 197, 34 L.R.A. 541 (1896); Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 115 Tenn. 526, 92 S.W. 238, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1906); Edmonson v. Walker, 137 Tenn. 569, 195 S.W. 168, 1917 Tenn. LEXIS 169 (1917), overruled, State ex. rel. Williamson County v. A&F Constr., — S.W.3d —, 2009 Tenn. App. LEXIS 275 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2009).

As a municipal body, a county is an arm or instrument of the state to carry out the purposes of government, but it is not so highly organized as the municipal corporation proper (town or city). Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904).

4. County Legislative Body as Representative of County.

The county legislative body represents the county in its civil and political powers, its rights and obligations, and it is through the county legislative body that the county may act or be acted upon. Maury County v. Lewis County, 31 Tenn. 236, 1851 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1851); Dulaney v. Dunlap, 43 Tenn. 306, 1866 Tenn. LEXIS 56 (1866); Hunter v. Justices of Campbell County, 47 Tenn. 49, 1869 Tenn. LEXIS 7 (1869); Grant v. Lindsay, 58 Tenn. 651, 1872 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (1872); Beck v. Puckett, 2 Shan. 490 (1877); Davidson County v. Olwill, 72 Tenn. 28, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1879); Lauderdale County v. Fargason, 75 Tenn. 153, 1881 Tenn. LEXIS 91 (1881); Nashville & K. R. Co. v. Wilson County, 89 Tenn. 597, 15 S.W. 446, 1890 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1891); Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); Wright v. Cunningham, 115 Tenn. 445, 91 S.W. 293, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 79 (1905); Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 115 Tenn. 526, 92 S.W. 238, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1906); State v. True, 116 Tenn. 294, 95 S.W. 1028, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 24 (1905).

Counties may act as other corporations by their representatives, the county legislative body, or by their agents and committees. Beck v. Puckett, 2 Shan. 490 (1877).

The political, municipal, police and legislative powers of the county are to be exercised by and through the county legislative body, as empowered and controlled by the general assembly. Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904).

The general assembly has the power to strip county legislative body of its nonconstitutional powers and may transfer those powers to a board of commissioners or other agency. Shelby County Board of Comm'rs v. Shelby County Quarterly Court, 216 Tenn. 470, 392 S.W.2d 935, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 592 (1965).

5. Powers of County.

6. —In General.

The county's field of action is local and limited to the confines of the county. The rights, duties, obligations, privileges and offices are exercisable in the county by the body politic composing the county, exclusive of the agency of the officers of any and every other like county. Stewart v. Roberts, 9 Tenn. 386, 9 Tenn. 387, 1830 Tenn. LEXIS 28 (1830); Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 115 Tenn. 526, 92 S.W. 238, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1906); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907).

The county's function in regard to its public institutions is legislative. McAndrews v. Hamilton County, 105 Tenn. 399, 58 S.W. 483, 1900 Tenn. LEXIS 83 (1900); State ex rel. Citizens v. Justices of Wayne County, 108 Tenn. 259, 67 S.W. 72, 1901 Tenn. LEXIS 27 (1901). See also, as to legislative powers, Maury County v. Lewis County, 31 Tenn. 236, 1851 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1851); Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907).

The powers of counties, except those necessarily implied, must be found within statutory provisions made by the general assembly. One dealing with a county is bound at one's peril to take notice of the limitations of its authority. State ex rel. Wilson County v. Lebanon & Nashville Turnpike Co., 151 Tenn. 150, 268 S.W. 627, 1924 Tenn. LEXIS 55 (1925).

The authority of the governing body of a county to exercise corporate powers cannot be delegated, only ministerial acts carrying out the details of such matters may be delegated. Rutherford County v. Murfreesboro, 43 Tenn. App. 489, 309 S.W.2d 778, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 132 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

The county legislative body cannot delegate its authority in such matters as the appropriation of money, the disposition of property and the like. Rutherford County v. Murfreesboro, 43 Tenn. App. 489, 309 S.W.2d 778, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 132 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

7. —Employment of Attorneys.

County legislative body that acted in good faith was authorized to employ counsel in case involving constitutionality of an act although county was not named as a party to the proceeding. Reece v. Polk County, 3 Tenn. Civ. App. (3 Higgins) 354 (1912); Crewse v. Beeler, 186 Tenn. 475, 212 S.W.2d 39, 1948 Tenn. LEXIS 568 (1948).

The county legislative body has only such power and jurisdiction as vested by law and cannot bind the county for any purpose until the record, which is the sole evidence thereof, has been made; thus an attorney cannot recover for services rendered under parol contract with the court in adjusting county's claim under the Highway Reimbursement Act. Epps v. Washington County, 173 Tenn. 373, 117 S.W.2d 749, 1937 Tenn. LEXIS 35 (1938).

The records of the county legislative body are the sole witness of proceedings of such court to employ counsel and authorize a charge against the county to pay counsel's compensation. Epps v. Washington County, 173 Tenn. 373, 117 S.W.2d 749, 1937 Tenn. LEXIS 35 (1938).

Action of the county legislative body in electing a county attorney and fixing such attorney's salary or retainer may be construed as being the employment of such attorney to represent the county in litigated cases against it with compensation to be fixed as provided by statute or by subsequent appropriation, but cannot be construed as having authorized such attorney to adjust the claims of the county with the state in reference to highway construction and to entitle such attorney to compensation for such services. Epps v. Washington County, 173 Tenn. 373, 117 S.W.2d 749, 1937 Tenn. LEXIS 35 (1938).

8. —Construction of Railroad.

The construction of a railroad through a county is a county purpose, though the road runs into or through other counties or states. Louisville & N. R. Co. v. County Court of Davidson, 33 Tenn. 637, 1854 Tenn. LEXIS 81 (1854); McCallie v. Chattanooga, 40 Tenn. 317, 1859 Tenn. LEXIS 87 (1859); Adams v. Memphis & L.R.R., 42 Tenn. 645, 1866 Tenn. LEXIS 5 (1866); Winston v. Tennessee & P.R.R., 60 Tenn. 60, 1873 Tenn. LEXIS 415 (1873); Shelby County v. Jarnagin, 3 Shan. 179 (1875); Wallace v. County Court of Tipton County, 3 Shan. 542 (1875), overruled on other grounds, Lauderdale County v. Fargason, 75 Tenn. 153, 1881 Tenn. LEXIS 91 (1881), questioned, Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); Lauderdale County v. Fargason, 75 Tenn. 153, 1881 Tenn. LEXIS 91 (1881); Shelby County v. Tennessee Centennial Exposition Co., 96 Tenn. 653, 36 S.W. 694, 1896 Tenn. LEXIS 19, 33 L.R.A. 717 (1896); Ransom v. Rutherford County, 123 Tenn. 1, 130 S.W. 1057, 1912B Am. Ann. Cas. 1356, 1909 Tenn. LEXIS 1 (1909); King v. Sullivan County, 128 Tenn. 393, 160 S.W. 847, 1913 Tenn. LEXIS 56 (1913).

9. —Subscription for Stock in Railroad Company.

A statute authorizing any county through which a certain railroad is proposed to be run to subscribe for stock in the same, and to issue bonds in payment thereof, is constitutional. Lauderdale County v. Fargason, 75 Tenn. 153, 1881 Tenn. LEXIS 91 (1881); Burnett v. Maloney, 97 Tenn. 697, 37 S.W. 689, 1896 Tenn. LEXIS 197, 34 L.R.A. 541 (1896); Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904).

10. —Use of County Property.

Acquiescence of certain county officials in use of “inner circle” area of courthouse yard for public parking plus fact that city paved such area and erected parking meters therein did not amount to a dedication by implication of such area for street purposes in absence of unequivocal proof that the county intended to dedicate area for that purpose. Rutherford County v. Murfreesboro, 43 Tenn. App. 489, 309 S.W.2d 778, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 132 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

11. Board of Commissioners.

By virtue of passage of various Private Acts establishing a board of commissioners and establishing powers and duties of board, Shelby County board of commissioners and not county legislative body had power to represent county in coliseum project, to appoint building commissioner and electrical and plumbing inspectors and had appointing and employment authority for county building department and county building code board of appeals. Shelby County Board of Comm'rs v. Shelby County Quarterly Court, 216 Tenn. 470, 392 S.W.2d 935, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 592 (1965).

5-1-104. County officers — Filling vacancies.

  1. Each organized county shall have, in addition to the judicial officers elected by the qualified voters or by the county legislative body, such other officers as are authorized by law to manage county business.
    1. Vacancies in county offices required by the Constitution of Tennessee or by any statutory provision to be filled by the people shall be filled by the county legislative body, and any person so appointed shall serve until a successor is elected at the next general election, as defined in § 2-1-104, in the county and is qualified. The county legislative body shall be required to make an appointment to fill a vacancy within one hundred twenty (120) days of receiving notice of the vacancy unless during that time period there is a general election scheduled in the county and there is sufficient time for the vacancy to be placed on the ballot in accordance with this section. Any appointment to fill a vacancy by the county legislative body shall be made in accordance with chapter 5, part 1 of this title. This subdivision (b)(1) shall not apply to any county that has a metropolitan form of government and a population in excess of five hundred thousand (500,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census. This subdivision (b)(1) shall not apply in any county having a population of not less than eight hundred ninety-seven thousand four hundred (897,400) nor more than eight hundred ninety-seven thousand five hundred (897,500), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
    2. If the vacancy occurs after the time for filing nominating petitions for the party primary election and more than sixty (60) days before the party primary election, then nominees of political parties shall be selected in such primary election and a successor elected in the August general election. If the vacancy occurs less than sixty (60) days before the party primary election but sixty (60) days or more before the August election, then nominees of political parties shall be selected by party convention and a successor elected in the August election. If the vacancy occurs less than sixty (60) days before the August election but sixty (60) days or more before the November election, then nominees of political parties shall be selected by party convention and a successor elected in the November election.
    3. If a vacancy occurs more than ten (10) days prior to the regular qualifying deadline, then the regular qualifying deadline shall apply. If the vacancy occurs after the tenth day prior to the regular qualifying deadline, independent candidates and candidates nominated by any political party for the vacancies shall qualify by filing all nominating petitions no later than twelve o'clock (12:00) noon, prevailing time, on the fifty-fifth day before the election. If the qualifying deadline is the fifty-fifth day before the election, candidates must withdraw no later than twelve o'clock (12:00) noon, prevailing time, on the fifty-second day before the election.
  2. Notwithstanding any law or any provision of any charter of a metropolitan government to the contrary, whenever an election is held to fill a vacancy in a county office that is elected from districts, including, but not limited to, county school board members, county legislative body members, county highway commissions, and constables, the county legislative body may provide by resolution duly certified to the county election commission that persons qualifying as candidates shall be elected from the most recently adopted reapportionment plan in the county. If the county legislative body requires the election to be held using districts as adopted in the most recently adopted reapportionment plan in the county, the county legislative body shall specify to the county election commission which district shall be used to fill the vacancy by election. In the absence of a resolution requiring the latest reapportionment plan be used and specifying which district shall be used for the election, the election shall be held using the district as constituted for the election of the vacated incumbent.

Code 1858, § 406 (deriv. Const. 1834, art. 7, § 1); impl. am. Acts 1870, ch. 98, § 1; Shan., § 498; Code 1932, § 744; Acts 1975, ch. 354, § 1; 1978, ch. 934, §§ 2, 24; 1979, ch. 10, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-104; Acts 1981, ch. 314, § 1; 1981, ch. 318, § 1; 1992, ch. 707, § 1; 1997, ch. 558, §§ 24, 25; 2007, ch. 125, § 8; 2008, ch. 871, § 1; 2013, ch. 231, § 11.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 1992, ch. 707, § 2 provided that the 1992 amendment by that act (subsection (c)) applies to elections for office for which the qualifying deadline occurs after April 13, 1992.

Compiler's Notes. For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. County and other public officers and employees, title 8.

Filling a vacancy in the office of constable, § 8-10-118.

Methods of nomination for office, § 2-13-203.

Nominating petitions, filing requirements and deadlines, § 2-5-101.

Officers elected by county legislative body, § 5-5-111.

Public administrators, guardians and trustees, title 30, ch. 1, part 4.

Special elections, title 2, ch. 14.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 6 Tenn. Juris., Clerks of Court, § 6; 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 13.

Attorney General Opinions. Vacancies on county commission's or county boards of education before 1992 elections, OAG 91-98, 1991 Tenn. AG LEXIS 110 (12/5/91).

T.C.A. § 5-1-104 specifies no time within which the county commission must fill the vacancy, and the law imposes no penalty if the commission leaves the position vacant until it is filled at the next county general election, OAG 04-075, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 67 (4/23/04).

Filling of vacancies in county offices, OAG 07-022 (2/27/07).

Open Meetings Act and appointments by county legislative body.  OAG 10-126, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 132 (12/30/10).

Status of interim county mayor as member of county commission.  OAG 11-2, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 2 (1/7/11).

Vacancy on county commission.  OAG 12-79, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 75 (7/31/12).

5-1-105. Suits against counties.

Suits may be maintained against a county for any just claim, as against other corporations.

Code 1858, § 403 (deriv. Acts 1857-1858, ch. 15, §§ 1, 2); Shan., § 494; Code 1932, § 740; Acts 1972, ch. 565, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-105.

Textbooks. Gibson's Suits in Chancery (7th ed., Inman), § 85.

Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 30.

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of special school district to settle litigation with county, OAG 97-104, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 99 (7/28/97).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Suits Involving Counties.

Suit may be brought in name of county instead of in name of members of county legislative body. Hawkins County v. East Tenn. & V.R.R., 1 Shan. 290 (1874).

A county may sue or be sued in the name of the members of county legislative body, especially if no objection is made by plea in abatement. Wilson v. Davidson, 3 Cooper's Tenn. Ch. 536 (1877).

2. —Service of Process.

In a suit against a county, process may be served on the county executive (now county mayor). Wilson v. Davidson, 3 Cooper's Tenn. Ch. 536 (1877); Beck v. Puckett, 2 Shan. 490 (1877).

County could not be bound by agreed decree in settlement of back taxes due from estate agreed to by administrator and county attorney where county was not served. Hamilton Nat'l Bank v. Richardson, 42 Tenn. App. 486, 304 S.W.2d 504, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 93 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

3. —Powers of County Attorney.

There is no authority empowering county attorney to voluntarily enter county's appearance in court proceeding. Hamilton Nat'l Bank v. Richardson, 42 Tenn. App. 486, 304 S.W.2d 504, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 93 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

4. Liability of County.

A county is no more liable to be sued for the neglect of duty by its officers than is the state for similar neglect. The common law gives no such action, and it is therefore not sustainable at all, unless given by statute. Wood v. Tipton County, 66 Tenn. 112, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 88, 32 Am. Rep. 561 (1874).

The county is declared to be a corporation to facilitate the execution of the powers delegated to it, and to enable it to make binding contracts, and to be liable to suit for just claims arising under such contracts, but this is the extent to which, as corporations, counties can be sued. Wood v. Tipton County, 66 Tenn. 112, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 88, 32 Am. Rep. 561 (1874).

This section does not enlarge the liability of counties, nor create any new liability against them, and does not authorize suit for neglect of the officers of the county. White's Creek Turnpike Co. v. Davidson County, 82 Tenn. 73, 1884 Tenn. LEXIS 107 (1884), superseded by statute as stated in, Jenkins v. Loudon County, 736 S.W.2d 603, 1987 Tenn. LEXIS 1084 (Tenn. 1987).

Where county hired contractor to construct a school and the contractor hired a subcontractor to dig the sewers, the negligence of the subcontractor was the sole proximate cause of the death of its employee, plaintiff's intestate, and plaintiff's theory that defendant was liable because it had a nondelegable duty to protect plaintiff's intestate from injury due to hazards created by unlawful work and work that is necessarily dangerous is without merit, since ditchdigging is not an activity considered to be inherently dangerous and, even if it were, defendant would not be considered a “supplier” of ditchdigging and hence would not be vicariously liable. Kemp v. Knox County, 556 S.W.2d 546, 1977 Tenn. App. LEXIS 291 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1977).

5. —Negligence of Its Employees.

A county is not liable for personal injuries caused by the gross carelessness and negligence of one of its employees while engaged in the service of one of its public institutions, a house of reformation for youths, not compulsorily required to be established and maintained. McAndrews v. Hamilton County, 105 Tenn. 399, 58 S.W. 483, 1900 Tenn. LEXIS 83 (1900).

6. —Negligence Involving Roads and Bridges.

Counties are not liable in damages for failure to keep a public bridge in repair. Wood v. Tipton County, 66 Tenn. 112, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 88, 32 Am. Rep. 561 (1874); Rhea County v. Sneed, 105 Tenn. 581, 58 S.W. 1063, 1900 Tenn. LEXIS 108 (1900).

A county is not liable for the neglect and failure of its bridge commissioners to take bond of the contractor for the benefit of the laborers and materialmen, as required by statute. Rhea County v. Sneed, 105 Tenn. 581, 58 S.W. 1063, 1900 Tenn. LEXIS 108 (1900).

Where a county, acting through its workhouse commissioners and the superintendent of the county workhouse in repairing a road, constructed, in and by the roadway, in front of the entrance to a residence, a ditch nine feet long, four feet wide, and three and one-half feet deep, without any guards, the construction and maintenance of such ditch constituted a nuisance, and the county, its workhouse commissioners and the superintendent of the workhouse were liable to one falling therein. Chandler v. Davidson County, 142 Tenn. 265, 218 S.W. 222, 1919 Tenn. LEXIS 55 (1920), overruled, Buckholtz v. Hamilton County, 180 Tenn. 263, 174 S.W.2d 455 (1943), overruled in part, State ex rel. Daugherty v. Payne, 180 Tenn. 268, 174 S.W.2d 457 (1943).

A county exercises the delegated sovereign power in maintaining roads and bridges, and is not liable for negligence in the exercise of that power, though it would be liable for a nuisance that was an actionable continuing wrong beyond the scope of that power. Carothers v. Shelby County, 148 Tenn. 185, 253 S.W. 708, 1922 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1922).

There can be no recovery against a county for damages resulting from collapse of a county bridge. Carothers v. Shelby County, 148 Tenn. 185, 253 S.W. 708, 1922 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1922).

Negligence of officers and employees of county in failing to erect barriers or place lights or other warnings at place in road where bridge was removed did not render county liable. Vance v. Shelby County, 152 Tenn. 141, 273 S.W. 557, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 55 (1925).

County is not liable for negligence while engaged in repairing a highway. Lee v. Davidson County, 158 Tenn. 313, 13 S.W.2d 328, 1928 Tenn. LEXIS 154 (1929).

County was held not liable for alleged dangerous nuisance created by its negligence where it was acting in its governmental and not in its corporate capacity. Buckholtz v. Hamilton County, 180 Tenn. 263, 174 S.W.2d 455 (1943).

7. — —Impairment of Ingress or Egress.

County can be sued for damages arising out of impairment of plaintiff's right of ingress and egress from his home as result of construction of highway by virtue of dirt and sediment deposited on property from reduction of grade in front of plaintiff's road. Shelby County v. Dodson, 13 Tenn. App. 392, — S.W.2d —, 1930 Tenn. App. LEXIS 147 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1930).

8. — —Laying Out a Public Road.

An action will not lie against a county for damages in laying off a public road afterward held to be a shunpike and ordered to be closed as such. White's Creek Turnpike Co. v. Davidson County, 82 Tenn. 73, 1884 Tenn. LEXIS 107 (1884), superseded by statute as stated in, Jenkins v. Loudon County, 736 S.W.2d 603, 1987 Tenn. LEXIS 1084 (Tenn. 1987).

9. —Injury to Employee.

An employee cannot recover damages for injuries received in the course of his employment, while working in a stone quarry operated by the county, and a compromise agreement of settlement between the employee and the county was ultra vires and void. Armitage v. Holt, 21 Tenn. App. 273, 109 S.W.2d 411, 1937 Tenn. App. LEXIS 31 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1937).

Where county highway department accepted Workers' Compensation Law (title 50, ch. 6) by statutory notice and there was no evidence of withdrawal of acceptance, insolvency of county's insurance carriers did not relieve county of its contractual liability or permit it to assert governmental immunity. Sevier County Highway Dep't v. Wells, 217 Tenn. 130, 395 S.W.2d 800, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 525 (1965).

10. —Wages of Employee of Contractor.

There is no implied contract of a county to pay for the labor done by the employees of its contractor on a public bridge constructed by him. Rhea County v. Sneed, 105 Tenn. 581, 58 S.W. 1063, 1900 Tenn. LEXIS 108 (1900).

There is no implied contract on part of county to pay for labor done by employee of contractor constructing courthouse. W. T. Hardison & Co. v. Yeaman, 115 Tenn. 639, 91 S.W. 1111, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 96 (1906).

11. —Injury to Patient During Construction or Maintenance of Hospital.

County is not liable to patient for injuries due to construction or maintenance of hospital. Johnson v. Hamilton County, 156 Tenn. 298, 1 S.W.2d 528, 1927 Tenn. LEXIS 117 (1927).

5-1-106. Suits for use of counties.

Suits for the use and benefit of any county in this state against any delinquent officer or such officer's sureties, for moneys or funds due such county, shall be brought in the name of the state of Tennessee, for the use of the county for the benefit of which such suit may be brought.

Acts 1875, ch. 27, § 1; Shan., § 495; Code 1932, § 741; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-106.

Cross-References. Power to bring suit for termination of use of land as cemetery, § 46-4-103.

Textbooks. Gibson's Suits in Chancery (7th ed., Inman), § 85.

Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 29.

Law Reviews.

Justiciability in Tennessee, Part Two: Standing (Barbara Kritchevsky), 15 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 179 (1985).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Habeas Corpus Cases.

This section does not apply to motion to retax costs arising in habeas corpus cases. Henderson v. Walker, 101 Tenn. 229, 47 S.W. 430, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 55 (1898).

2. Delinquent Officers.

County officials selling lumber to the county highway commission in violation of statute were delinquent officers within meaning of this section. Peeler v. Luther, 175 Tenn. 454, 135 S.W.2d 926, 1939 Tenn. LEXIS 61 (1940).

3. Suits Maintainable in Name of State.

In proper cases, suits by motion in name of state may be maintained under this section. Jernegan v. Gray, 82 Tenn. 536, 1884 Tenn. LEXIS 156 (1884).

A motion may be maintained in the name of the state, for the use of the county, upon the county trustee's bond, to recover school moneys, where he is delinquent. Jernegan v. Gray, 82 Tenn. 536, 1884 Tenn. LEXIS 156 (1884).

The school children of the county are not necessary parties to a suit, in name of the state to the use of a county, to recover school moneys from a delinquent trustee and his sureties. State use of Anderson County v. Hays, 99 Tenn. 542, 42 S.W. 266, 1897 Tenn. LEXIS 66 (1897).

Where suit on official bond is authorized by resolution of quarterly court (now county legislative body) it may properly be brought in name of state for use of county notwithstanding another statute authorizing suits to be brought against delinquent officers by the county judge or chairman (now county mayor), or by the commissioner of finance and taxation (now commissioner of revenue) under prescribed conditions. State use of Giles County v. Abernathy, 159 Tenn. 175, 17 S.W.2d 17, 1928 Tenn. LEXIS 73 (1929).

This section requires that all actions against delinquent tax officers be brought in the name of the state for the use of the complaining county, where the county seeks an accounting by the state commissioner of highways (now commissioner of transportation) as to automobile license taxes allocated to the county. Wiseman v. Smith, 171 Tenn. 148, 101 S.W.2d 464, 1936 Tenn. LEXIS 74 (1937).

Under this section a suit by a county highway commissioner in that capacity and as a citizen, resident and taxpayer for the use and benefit of the county could be maintained in the name of the state against a county judge (now county mayor) and a member of the county court (now county legislative body) to recover money obtained by such persons by selling lumber to the highway commission in violation of § 12-4-101. Peeler v. Luther, 175 Tenn. 454, 135 S.W.2d 926, 1939 Tenn. LEXIS 61 (1940).

4. Suits Maintainable in Name of County.

A motion to retax criminal costs adjudged against the county, and certified by the judge and district attorney general, is properly made in the name of the county and the judge of the county court (now county mayor) representing the county. Henderson v. Walker, 101 Tenn. 229, 47 S.W. 430, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 55 (1898).

A county may maintain a bill in its own name for a mandamus to compel the assessment of railroad property for taxation, and the use of the state's name in behalf of the county is altogether unnecessary, since no statute authorizes the use of the name of the state in such suit. State ex rel. Collier v. Enloe, 121 Tenn. 347, 117 S.W. 223, 1908 Tenn. LEXIS 24 (1909).

5. Real Party in Interest.

The county, and not the taxpayers, is the real party in interest in a suit under T.C.A. § 5-1-106. Trigg v. Mansfield, 648 S.W.2d 946, 1982 Tenn. App. LEXIS 449 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1982).

5-1-107. Mandamus to enforce county duties.

The performance of any duty made incumbent by law upon the county may be enforced by mandamus from the circuit court, according to the nature of the case.

Code 1858, § 537; Shan., § 684; Code 1932, § 1080; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-107.

Cross-References. Mandamus, title 29, ch. 25.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 31; 18 Tenn. Juris., Mandamus, § 9.

Law Reviews.

Methods of Judicial Review over Administrative Actions in Tennessee, 13 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 657 (1984).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

This statute was applied in Newman v. Justices of Scott County, 37 Tenn. 695, 1858 Tenn. LEXIS 100 (1858); Nelson v. Justices of Carter County, 41 Tenn. 207, 1860 Tenn. LEXIS 48 (1860); Memphis v. Bethel, 3 Shan. 205, 17 S.W. 191 (1875); State ex rel. Tidwell v. Morrison, 152 Tenn. 58, 152 Tenn. 59, 274 S.W. 551, 1924 Tenn. LEXIS 103 (1925).

Wherever a positive legal liability is fixed upon the county legislative body, its discharge may be enforced by the circuit court by virtue of its general superintending power over all inferior jurisdictions. Nelson v. Justices of Carter County, 41 Tenn. 207, 1860 Tenn. LEXIS 48 (1860).

Where a jury of view reported damages in laying out a road, and the county legislative body acquiesced therein, but refused payment, an appeal to the circuit court is not necessary or proper. The proper relief is by mandamus. Justices of Williamson v. Jefferson, 41 Tenn. 419, 1860 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1860).

2. Mandamus.

Chancery court had jurisdiction to issue a writ of mandamus; T.C.A. § 16-11-102 vests chancery courts with concurrent jurisdiction over all civil causes of action including petitions for writs of mandamus; T.C.A. § 29-25-101 separately grants chancellors the power to issue writs of mandamus, and the language of this statute that duties made incumbent by law upon the county may be enforced by mandamus from the circuit court is permissive rather than exclusionary. State ex rel. Aina-Labinjo v. Metro. Nashville Bd. of Pub. Educ., — S.W.3d —, 2013 Tenn. App. LEXIS 377 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 6, 2013).

5-1-108. Division into districts.

The different counties shall be laid off, as the general assembly may direct, into districts of convenient size, so that the whole number in each county shall not be more than twenty-five (25), or four (4) for every one hundred square miles (100 sq. mi.).

Code 1858, § 76 (deriv. Const. 1834, art. 6, § 15); Shan., § 94; Code 1932, § 112; T.C.A (orig. ed.), § 5-108.

Cross-References. Consolidation of counties, reduction to 25 districts, § 5-3-108.

Reapportionment of county legislative body districts, § 5-1-111.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 7.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

These districts are considered a very important feature in our system and policy. They constitute small communities better enabling the people to carry out self-government, as regards their smallest and greatest interests, and the system is of special value in the exercise of the elective franchise. Marshall v. Kerns, 32 Tenn. 68, 1852 Tenn. LEXIS 15 (1852).

It will be presumed that each county is laid off into “districts of convenient size,” in which places are designated for holding popular elections. Marshall v. Kerns, 32 Tenn. 68, 1852 Tenn. LEXIS 15 (1852).

2. Nature of Districts.

Civil districts of counties are not, in the sense of the constitution, incorporated towns having taxing powers, and fact that they are vested with some of the capacities of corporate bodies does not make them incorporated towns. Keesee v. Civil Dist. Board of Education, 46 Tenn. 127, 1868 Tenn. LEXIS 74 (1868).

Civil districts cannot be endowed with corporate life and power of taxation cannot be delegated to them. Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907).

3. Legislative Authority.

The fact that the constitution provides that counties shall be laid off, as the general assembly may direct, into districts does not necessarily imply that the general assembly itself shall not do the work. A statute redistricting a county, and providing that the civil districts thereby established shall not be increased or diminished in number in the future, except by acts of the general assembly, is not for that reason unconstitutional. Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904).

A statute, abolishing certain districts and redistricting the county, is constitutional, though the districts as laid off in the statute are disproportionate in area, wealth and population, and of shape inconvenient to their inhabitants. The power to create the districts is a political power vested in the legislative department to be exercised in its discretion, not subject to review by the courts. Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907).

4. Reduction in Number of Districts.

The statutes reducing the number and thereby abolishing some of the districts, operate as an inevitable legal consequence to destroy all offices that are dependent upon the district for their existence. Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); State v. Akin, 112 Tenn. 603, 79 S.W. 805, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 129 (1904); State ex rel. Harris v. Hamby, 114 Tenn. 361, 84 S.W. 622, 1904 Tenn. LEXIS 92 (1904).

5-1-109. Continuation of existing districts.

The districts already laid off in the several counties shall continue until altered in the manner pointed out by law.

Code 1858, § 77 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 1, § 2); Shan., § 95; Code 1932, § 113; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-109.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Special Redistricting Statute.

A special statute, redistricting a certain specified county, is not unconstitutional as arbitrary class legislation. Grainger County v. State, 111 Tenn. 234, 80 S.W. 750, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1904); State v. Akin, 112 Tenn. 603, 79 S.W. 805, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 129 (1904); State ex rel. Harris v. Hamby, 114 Tenn. 361, 84 S.W. 622, 1904 Tenn. LEXIS 92 (1904); Maxey v. Powers, 117 Tenn. 381, 101 S.W. 181, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1907); Richardson v. Young, 122 Tenn. 471, 125 S.W. 664, 1909 Tenn. LEXIS 32 (1910).

5-1-110. District maps and boundaries.

    1. The county legislative body shall make, or have made, a map showing civil districts of the county and shall have typed or printed a description of the boundaries of the civil districts.
    2. The county legislative body shall make, or have made, a map showing the county districts from which the members are elected to the county legislative body. The county legislative body may also make, or have made, a census block equivalency file or a typed or printed description of the boundaries of the county districts. In the event of any discrepancy between the boundaries set forth on the map showing the county districts from which the members are elected to the county legislative body and the census block equivalency file or typed or printed description of the boundaries of the county districts, the boundaries set forth on the map shall control.
  1. A copy of the map or maps and the accompanying descriptions of the civil district boundaries and, if any, the county district boundaries shall be filed with the county clerk, and a copy also shall be filed with the secretary of state and the comptroller of the treasury.
  2. Revised maps shall be filed within ninety (90) days of any revision in any civil district or any other district from which members of the county legislative body are elected.

Code 1858, § 80 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 1, § 6); Shan., § 98; Code 1932, § 115; Acts 1968, ch. 599, § 9; 1978, ch. 934, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-110; Acts 2011, ch. 96, §§ 1-3; 2018, ch. 528, § 1.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment rewrote (a) which read: “The county legislative body shall make, or have made, a map showing civil districts of the county and, on the same or on a separate map, the county districts from which the members are elected to the county legislative body, and shall have typed or printed a description of the boundaries of the civil districts. A description of the boundaries of the county districts may be typed or printed if the map is not of sufficient detail to delineate the boundaries of the county districts.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 528, § 2. March 7, 2018.

Cross-References. Filing by secretary of state, § 8-3-104.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 2 Tenn. Juris., Appeal and Error, § 251; 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 7.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. One Man, One Vote.

This section must be construed as if the one man, one vote principle of the equal protection clause of U.S. Const., amend. 14, § 1 was written into the Constitution of Tennessee. State ex rel. Jones v. Washington County, 514 S.W.2d 51, 1973 Tenn. App. LEXIS 258 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1973), aff'd, 514 S.W.2d 57, 1974 Tenn. LEXIS 453 (Tenn. 1974).

2. Judicial Notice.

Court will take judicial notice of record dividing county into districts. Central Trust Co. v. Ashville Land Co., 72 F. 361, 1896 U.S. App. LEXIS 1712 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1896).

5-1-111. County legislative bodies — Reapportionment.

  1. Prior to January 1, 1982, and at least every ten (10) years thereafter, county legislative bodies of the different counties shall meet and, a majority of the members being present and concurring, shall change the boundaries of districts or redistrict a county entirely if necessary to apportion the county legislative body so that the members represent substantially equal populations.
  2. The county legislative body may increase or decrease the number of districts when the reapportionments are made.
  3. A county legislative body may reapportion at any time if the county legislative body deems such action necessary to maintain substantially equal representation based on population.
  4. The county legislative body must use the latest federal census data whenever a reapportionment is made.
  5. Districts shall be reasonably compact and contiguous and shall not overlap.
    1. Except as provided in subdivision (f)(2), in the establishment of boundaries for districts, no precinct shall be split.
    2. Upon written certification by the coordinator of elections, a county election commission may establish a precinct that encompasses two (2) or more districts in any county that has twenty (20) or more county legislative body districts. In making this determination the coordinator of elections shall consider, among other things, the type of voting equipment used in the county, as well as the racial makeup of the districts and the cost savings to the county.
  6. Upon application of any citizen of the county affected, the chancery court of such county shall have original jurisdiction to review the county legislative body's apportionment, and shall have jurisdiction to make such orders and decrees amending the apportionment to comply with this section, or if the county legislative body fails to make apportionment, shall make a decree ordering an apportionment.
  7. When a reapportionment is made, residents of a correctional institution who cannot by law register in the county as voters may be excluded from any consideration of representation.

Acts 1968, ch. 599, §§ 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 12; 1972, ch. 615, § 1; 1978, ch. 934, § 4; T.C.A., § 5-111; Acts 2002, ch. 653, § 1; 2016, ch. 954, § 1.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment added (h).

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 954, § 2. April 27, 2016.

Cross-References. Consolidation of counties, redistricting, § 5-3-108.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 2 Tenn. Juris., Appeal and Error, § 251; 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 7.

Attorney General Opinions. A county commission could reduce the number of its members as part of a reapportionment plan, and no private act necessary, OAG 01-151, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 159 (9/25/01).

Vacancy on county commission.  OAG 12-79, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 75 (7/31/12).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Purpose.

This section was enacted for the purpose of eliminating malapportionment in violation of the one man, one vote principle of the equal protection clause of U.S. Const., amend. 14. State ex rel. Jones v. Washington County, 514 S.W.2d 51, 1973 Tenn. App. LEXIS 258 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1973), aff'd, 514 S.W.2d 57, 1974 Tenn. LEXIS 453 (Tenn. 1974).

2. Mandamus to Reapportion.

This act does not relieve a county legislative body that is improperly apportioned from being compelled by mandamus to do so. Bradley v. State, 222 Tenn. 535, 438 S.W.2d 738, 1969 Tenn. LEXIS 494 (1969).

3. Federal Court.

The deferment of reapportionment by statute was not controlling in a reapportionment proceeding brought in a federal court to make the apportionment conform with the equal protection clause of U.S. Const., amend. 14. Otis v. Boyd, 294 F. Supp. 813, 1968 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8027 (E.D. Tenn. 1968).

4. One Man, One Vote.

This section must be construed as if the one man, one vote principle of the equal protection clause of U.S. Const., amend. 14., § 1 was written into the Constitution of Tennessee. State ex rel. Jones v. Washington County, 514 S.W.2d 51, 1973 Tenn. App. LEXIS 258 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1973), aff'd, 514 S.W.2d 57, 1974 Tenn. LEXIS 453 (Tenn. 1974).

5. Reapportionment by Appellate Court.

Where a reapportionment was held invalid on appeal as violative of this section, the court declined to make the reapportionment itself, holding that it was the primary responsibility of the county legislative body to make the reapportionment in accordance with this section and Tenn. Const., art. VI, § 15 and in compliance with the one man, one vote principle and that it assumed the county legislative body would do so properly in accordance with its order. State ex rel. Jones v. Washington County, 514 S.W.2d 51, 1973 Tenn. App. LEXIS 258 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1973), aff'd, 514 S.W.2d 57, 1974 Tenn. LEXIS 453 (Tenn. 1974).

Collateral References.

Propriety of using census data as basis for governmental regulations or activities—state cases. 56 A.L.R.5th 171.

5-1-112. Civil districts undisturbed by county legislative body reapportionment.

The recordkeeping role of the present civil districts shall be left undisturbed, and the boundaries of civil districts shall be preserved as they exist at the time of the apportionment of the county legislative bodies and on March 7, 1978.

Acts 1968, ch. 599, § 8; 1978, ch. 934, § 5; T.C.A., § 5-112.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 2 Tenn. Juris., Appeal and Error, § 251.

5-1-113. Interlocal cooperation with municipalities.

The county legislative body of any county and the chief legislative body of any one (1) or more municipalities lying within the boundaries of the county are authorized and empowered to enter into any such agreements, compacts or contractual relations as may be desirable or necessary for the purpose of permitting the county and the municipality or municipalities to conduct, operate or maintain, either jointly or otherwise, desirable and necessary services or functions, under such terms as may be agreed upon by the county legislative body and the chief legislative body of the municipality or the chief legislative bodies of the municipalities.

Acts 1939, ch. 222, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 10268.13 (Williams, § 10268.14); Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 6; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-113; Acts 1989, ch. 188, § 1.

Cross-References. Extension of facilities and services beyond boundaries of municipalities, § 7-52-103.

Extension of utility services, §§ 7-34-104, 7-35-401, 7-51-401.

Garbage services, interlocal cooperation, § 5-19-106.

Interlocal Cooperation Act, title 12, ch. 9.

Attorney General Opinions. A city and county were authorized to enter into an agreement to jointly acquire, construct, and maintain a new library on such terms as might be agreed upon by the parties, including the manner in which title to the real property would be held, OAG 00-169, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 172 (10/31/00).

Authority of a joint economic development board the board to acquire an industrial building and lease it to a private business on behalf of all of its constituent members, OAG 05-176, 2005 Tenn. AG LEXIS 178 (12/13/05).

Conflicts of interest: joint economic and community development boards.  OAG 12-09, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 10 (1/20/12).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Application to Specific Agreements.

Where statutes relating to school funds evinced a legislative purpose to make citizens and taxpayers of municipalities equal beneficiaries with counties of the proceeds of school bond issues and the annual capital outlay appropriations by the state and to prevent double taxation of the property owners, city could not under this section divest taxpayers of the right to receive benefit of such funds by entering into an agreement with county that amounted to exchanging such benefits for the right to participate in uncertain and undetermined tax levies that the county might or might not see fit to make. Carter County v. Elizabethton, 39 Tenn. App. 685, 287 S.W.2d 934, 1955 Tenn. App. LEXIS 96 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1955).

5-1-114. Interlocal cooperation between contiguous counties.

  1. The county legislative bodies of any two (2) or more contiguous counties are empowered to enter into such agreements, contractual arrangements or compacts as they may deem necessary and desirable, in order to provide for the joint conducting or financing of any of the functions or services rendered by or through the county government.
  2. Any county legislative body is empowered to enter into such agreements, contractual arrangements or compacts, as may be deemed necessary or desirable for the county to have any one (1) or more of its services or functions performed by and through the offices and officials of another county legislative body, and any county legislative body is authorized to enter into such agreements, contractual arrangements or compacts as may be deemed desirable or necessary to permit the offices and officials of such county legislative body to perform those services or functions for another county or counties.
  3. Such services or functions shall be performed and provided for in accordance with the terms and conditions as agreed upon between the respective county legislative bodies.

Acts 1939, ch. 223, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 10268.14 (Williams, § 10268.16); Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 6; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-114.

Cross-References. Garbage services, interlocal cooperation, § 5-19-106.

Home mortgages, interlocal cooperation, § 7-60-217.

Interlocal Cooperation Act, title 12, ch. 9.

Attorney General Opinions. Under T.C.A. § 5-1-114(a), contiguous counties may cooperate to develop an industrial park through an interlocal agreement, OAG 03-020, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 26 (2/24/03).

Because development of an industrial park could be a “county general purpose” and a “public purpose,” counties may use property tax revenues generated by the industrial park to fulfill terms and conditions of an interlocal agreement, OAG 03-020, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 26 (2/24/03).

5-1-115. Removal of vegetation and debris from certain lots. [For Amendment contingent on county approval; see the Compiler's Notes.]

  1. The authority in this section is permissive and not mandatory and may or may not be exercised by a county, as each county deems appropriate.
  2. If it is determined by the appropriate department or person, as designated by the governing body of a county, that any owner of record of real property has created, maintained or permitted to be maintained on such property, the growth of trees, vines, grass, underbrush or the accumulation of debris, trash, litter, garbage, or any combination of the preceding elements, or a vacant dilapidated building or structure, so as to endanger the health, safety or welfare of other citizens, or to encourage the infestation of rats and other harmful animals, the appropriate department or person shall provide notice to the owner of record to remedy the condition immediately. The notice shall be given by United States mail, addressed to the last known address of the owner of record. The notice shall state that the owner of the property is entitled to a hearing. The notice shall be written in plain language and shall also include, but not be limited to, the following elements:
    1. A brief statement of this section, which shall contain the consequences of failing to remedy the noted condition;
    2. The person, office, address and telephone number of the department or person giving notice;
    3. A cost estimate for remedying the noted condition, which shall be in conformity with the standards of cost in the community; and
    4. A place wherein the notified party may return a copy of the notice, indicating the desire for a hearing.
    1. If the person fails or refuses to remedy the condition within ten (10) days after receiving the notice, the appropriate department or person shall immediately cause the condition to be remedied or removed at a cost in conformity with reasonable standards and the cost thereof assessed against the owner of the property. The cost shall be a lien upon the property in favor of the county. These costs shall be placed upon the tax rolls of the county as a lien upon the property and shall be collected in the same manner as the county's taxes are collected, when the county causes a notice thereof to be filed in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the property lies, second only to liens of the state, county and municipality for taxes, any lien of the county for special assessments and any valid lien, right or interest in such property duly recorded or duly perfected by filing, prior to the filing of such notice. Such notice shall identify the owner of record of the real property, contain the property address, describe the property sufficiently to identify it and recite the amount of the obligation secured by the lien.
    2. If the person who is the owner of record is a carrier engaged in the transportation of property or is a utility transmitting communications, electricity, gas, liquids, steam, sewerage or other materials, the ten-day period provided for in subdivision (c)(1) shall be twenty (20) days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
    1. The county governing body or the appropriate department, or both, may make any rules and regulations necessary for the administration and enforcement of this section. The county shall provide for a hearing upon request of the person aggrieved by the determination made pursuant to subsection (b). A request for a hearing shall be made within ten (10) days following the receipt of the notice issued pursuant to subsection (b). Failure to make the request within this time shall without exception constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing.
    2. Any person aggrieved by an order or act of the board, agency or commission under this subsection (d) may seek judicial review of the order or act. The time period established in subsection (c) shall be stayed during the pendency of a hearing.
    1. Except in any county having a population of:

      not less than  nor more than

      5,800 6,100

      31,500 31,800

      40,200 40,500

      55,700 56,000

      77,800 78,000

      92,200 92,500

      according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the provisions of subsection (c) permitting a county to remedy such dangerous conditions shall not apply to any parcel of property upon which an owner-occupied residence is located.

    2. Notwithstanding subdivision (e)(1), in any county having a population of not less than sixty-nine thousand four hundred (69,400) nor more than sixty-nine thousand five hundred (69,500), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the provisions of subsection (c) permitting a county to remedy such dangerous conditions shall apply to any parcel of property, including any parcel upon which an owner-occupied residence is located.
    3. This subsection (e) shall not apply to subsection (g).
    4. Notwithstanding subdivision (e)(1), in any county having a population of not less than twenty-seven thousand seven hundred (27,700) nor more than twenty-seven thousand eight hundred (27,800), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census, subsection (c) permitting a county to remedy such dangerous conditions shall apply to any parcel of property, including any parcel upon which an owner-occupied residence is located.
    5. Notwithstanding subdivision (e)(1), in any county having a population of not less than seventy-two thousand three hundred (72,300) nor more than seventy-two thousand four hundred (72,400), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census, subsection (c) permitting a county to remedy such dangerous conditions shall apply to any parcel of property, including any parcel upon which an owner-occupied residence is located.
    6. Notwithstanding subdivision (e)(1), in any county having a population of not less than thirty-eight thousand three hundred (38,300) and not more than thirty-eight thousand four hundred (38,400), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census, subsection (c) permitting a county to remedy such dangerous conditions shall apply to any parcel of property, including any parcel upon which an owner-occupied residence is located.
    7. Notwithstanding subdivision (e)(1), in any county having a population of not less than fifty-seven thousand four hundred (57,400) and not more than fifty-seven thousand five hundred (57,500), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census, subsection (c) permitting a county to remedy such dangerous conditions shall apply to any parcel of property, including any parcel upon which an owner-occupied residence is located.
  3. This section is in addition and supplemental to, and not in substitution for, similar authority in any county's charter or other applicable law.
    1. As used in this subsection (g):
      1. “Community organization” means a community-oriented organization or group including, but not limited to, a school group, church youth group, neighborhood preservation nonprofit corporation, or community support group; and
      2. “Vacant property” means property on which no building exists or on which a building exists but any such building is no longer utilized for any business, commercial or residential purposes.
    2. If a person fails to remedy the condition on vacant property within the time period prescribed by subsection (c), subject to any stay as provided in subsection (d), upon the adoption of a resolution by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body of any county having a population in excess of eight hundred thousand (800,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, to implement this subsection (g) within such county, a community organization shall be entitled to petition the county to enter upon such vacant property to remedy the conditions identified in subsection (b). Upon the filing of such a petition, the county is authorized to contract with such community organization for such purposes. The contract shall provide for the manner in which the community organization shall be compensated for remedying the conditions pursuant to such contract. Any county that contracts with a community organization for such purposes shall be absolutely immune from any liability to any and all persons and for damage to the vacant property for conditions remedied by the community organization. No monetary liability and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against the county for acts of omission or commission of such community organization for conditions remedied pursuant to such contract.

Acts 1989, ch. 49, § 1; 1990, ch. 941, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 997, § 1; 1994, ch. 894, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 613, § 1; 1999, ch. 53, § 1; 2000, ch. 791, § 1; 2003, ch. 3, § 1; 2006, ch. 530, § 1; 2010, ch. 923, §§ 1, 2; 2014, ch. 963, § 2; 2015, ch. 258, § 1; 2016, ch. 681, § 1; 2017, ch. 303, § 1; 2018, ch. 815, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1994, ch. 894, § 4 provided that if any provision of that act, which amended this section, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, then all provisions and applications of that act are invalid and void.

Acts 2000, ch. 791, § 2 provided that this act shall have no effect in any county having a population of not less than 92,200 nor more than 92,500, according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, unless it is approved by a two-thirds vote of the legislative body of such county. The text set out above reflects the amended section by ch. 791 if approved by the two-thirds vote.

Acts 2014, ch. 963, § 5 provided that the secretary of state is authorized to promulgate rules to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Amendments. The 2014 amendment, effective January 1, 2015, inserted “neighborhood preservation nonprofit corporation,” in (g)(1)(A).

The 2015 amendment added (e)(4).

The 2016 amendment added (e)(5).

The 2017 amendment added (e)(6).

The 2018 amendment added (e)(7).

Effective Dates. Acts 2014, ch. 963, § 6. January 1, 2015; provided that for the purpose of promulgating rules and making necessary provisions for the implementation of the act, this act shall take effect May 19, 2014.

Acts 2015, ch. 258, § 2. April 24, 2015.

Acts 2016, ch. 681, § 2. March 24, 2016.

Acts 2017, ch. 303, § 2. May 5, 2017.

Acts 2018, ch. 815, § 2. April 27, 2018.

Cross-References. Removal of vegetation and debris from certain lots, municipal power, § 6-54-113.

5-1-116. Building, safety and other standardized codes, incorporated by reference — Citations.

  1. If the county legislative body or any agency or instrumentality thereof incorporates by reference a building code, safety and health code, or any other standardized code or document, a copy of such code or document shall be obtained and retained as a public record by the respective legislative body, agency or instrumentality.
  2. If any person is cited by the county legislative body or any agency or instrumentality thereof as having violated a building code, safety and health code, or any other standardized code or document that has been incorporated by reference pursuant to subsection (a), a notation shall be included in such citation identifying with specificity where a copy of the respective code or document is located and the hours during which such person has the opportunity to read or inspect such code or document.

Acts 1993, ch. 478, § 1.

5-1-117. Sober ride programs.

In any county, including those having a metropolitan form of government, any department, agency, or office, working in conjunction with the sheriff's office of such county, may sponsor or participate in a “sober ride program”, which may include, but is not limited to, the provision of rides to persons who request transportation in order to avoid driving while under the influence of any intoxicant or drug.

Acts 1995, ch. 120, § 1.

5-1-118. County powers shared with municipalities.

  1. Counties, by resolution of their respective legislative bodies, in addition to other powers authorized by general law or private act, may exercise the following powers granted to all or certain municipalities by the following code sections:
    1. Section 6-2-201(3)-(8), (10)-(13), (18), (19), (26) and (28);
    2. Section 6-54-103;
    3. Section 6-54-110;
    4. Section 6-54-307; and
    5. Sections 6-54-601 — 6-54-603.
  2. Nothing in this part shall be construed as granting counties the power to prohibit or regulate normal agricultural activities.
    1. In addition to those powers granted to counties pursuant to subsection (a), any county may, by adoption of a resolution by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of their respective legislative bodies, exercise those powers granted to all or certain municipalities by § 6-2-201(22) and (23), except as provided in subsection (b) and subdivisions (c)(2) and (3). Any such regulations shall be enacted by a resolution passed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body. The powers granted to counties in this subdivision (c)(1) apply only within the unincorporated areas. Nothing in this subdivision (c)(1) may be construed to allow any county to prohibit or in any way impede any municipality in exercising any power or authority the municipality may lawfully exercise. If, prior to April 17, 2002, a county has adopted a resolution by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, pursuant to previous acts enacted by the general assembly, to exercise the powers granted in accordance with this subdivision (c)(1), no further action by the legislative body of such county is necessary to continue exercising such powers.
    2. The powers granted by § 6-2-201(22) and (23) shall not apply to those activities, businesses, or uses of property and business occupations and practices that are subject to regulation pursuant to title 57, chapters 5 and 6; title 59, chapter 8; title 60, chapter 1; title 68, chapters 201-221; or title 69, chapters 3, 7, 10 and 11.
    3. All court decisions and statutory laws relating to variances and nonconforming uses applicable to zoning ordinances and land use controls shall apply to the enforcement and exercise of those powers granted pursuant to subdivision (c)(1).

Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 1; 2000, ch. 969, § 1; 2001, ch. 7, § 1; 2002, ch. 627, § 1; 2003, ch. 57, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 2 provided that it is not the intent of the general assembly in enacting that act to allow any county to prohibit or in any way impede any municipality in exercising any power or authority the municipality may lawfully exercise.

Attorney General Opinions. County authority to establish rates for privately owned utility franchise, OAG 97-114, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 148 (8/14/97).

Proposed private act purporting to give a single county zoning and regulatory authority over business activities and property uses that are subject to regulation by the department of environment and would be inconsistent with general laws and would constitute invalid class legislation, OAG 04-105, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 123 (7/02/04).

Unless and until the legislature enacts legislation implementing a state lottery, which would include authorization for the sale of lottery tickets statewide, a local government may enact an ordinance prohibiting the sale of lottery tickets within its jurisdiction, OAG 03-004, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 4 (1/17/03).

T.C.A. §§ 5-1-118(c)(1) and 5-1-120 implicitly authorize a county to regulate businesses that involve the keeping of dogs or cats and to charge a reasonable regulatory fee, OAG 06-161, 2006 Tenn. AG LEXIS 181 (10/11/06).

County government authority to regulate an electric utility, OAG 07-028 (3/12/07).

Local governments may regulate itinerant vendors and temporary sales activity that takes place along a state highway, OAG 08-188, 2008 Tenn. AG LEXIS 233 (12/16/08).

Use of county funds to support referendum to increase local option sales tax.  OAG 12-31, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 31 (3/8/12).

Regulation of distribution of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine by local governments.  OAG 13-99, 2013 Tenn. AG LEXIS 102 (12/6/13).

The definition of “agriculture” in T.C. A. §§ 1-3-105(a)(2)(A) and 43-1-113(b)(1) applies  in determining the meaning of “agricultural” as used in T.C.A. § 5-1-118(b), T.C.A. § 5-1-122, and T.C.A. § 13-7-114. AG LEXIS 35 (7/26/2017).

Based on the applicable definitions of “agriculture” and “agricultural,” concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) clearly involve “agricultural” activities and the “agricultural” use of land and structures. Thus, a county is not authorized to regulate CAFOs under its zoning powers or its general powers. T.C.A. § 44-18-104 merely sets forth which zoning requirements and regulations apply when determining whether a feedlot, dairy farm, or poultry production house is to be afforded absolute immunity from a nuisance claim, but it does not provide authority for a county to enact zoning requirements or regulations. T.C.A. § 13-7-114, which prevents counties from using their zoning power to regulate structures and land used for agricultural purposes, is not in conflict with T.C.A. § 44-18-104 because there is no independent source of zoning power bestowed upon any local entity under this right-to-farm law. T.C.A § 44-18-104(b) and (d) do not direct compliance with the section when no zoning requirements or regulations exist. When no zoning requirements or regulations exist, these provisions convey that a person’s compliance with the section is deemed to be established as a matter of law. OAG 18-30, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (7/6/2018).

5-1-119. Power to condemn property.

Counties, by resolution of their respective legislative bodies, may condemn property, real or personal, or any easement, interest, or estate or use therein, for present or future public use, either within or without the county, in accordance with the terms and provisions of title 29, chapter 16, or in any other manner provided by law, except that a county may not condemn property located outside of the county without receiving the approval of the county legislative body of the county wherein the land proposed to be taken for public use is located.

Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 2 provided that it is not the intent of the general assembly in enacting that act to allow any county to prohibit or in any way impede any municipality in exercising any power or authority the municipality may lawfully exercise.

5-1-120. Power to regulate stray animals.

Counties, by resolution of their respective legislative bodies, may license and regulate dogs and cats, establish and operate shelters and other animal control facilities, and regulate, capture, impound and dispose of stray dogs, stray cats and other stray animals.

Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 2 provided that it is not the intent of the general assembly in enacting that act to allow any county to prohibit or in any way impede any municipality in exercising any power or authority the municipality may lawfully exercise.

Attorney General Opinions. T.C.A. §§ 5-1-118(c)(1) and 5-1-120 implicitly authorize a county to regulate businesses that involve the keeping of dogs or cats and to charge a reasonable regulatory fee, OAG 06-161, 2006 Tenn. AG LEXIS 181 (10/11/06).

5-1-121. Enforcement of county rules.

Counties, by resolution of their respective legislative bodies, may establish a monetary penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation of a rule or regulation that the county legislative body is authorized to adopt.

Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 2 provided that it is not the intent of the general assembly in enacting that act to allow any county to prohibit or in any way impede any municipality in exercising any power or authority the municipality may lawfully exercise.

Attorney General Opinions. Constitutionality of penalties imposed by county commission for resolution violation, OAG 98-0145, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 145 (8/11/98).

County governments may institute and collect civil penalties up to five hundred dollars per violation for permit or zoning violations, OAG 07-028, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 28 (3/12/07).

5-1-122. Exclusion of agricultural buildings.

The powers granted to counties by this part do not include the regulation of buildings used primarily for agricultural purposes; it being the intent of the general assembly that the powers granted to counties by this part should not be used to inhibit normal agricultural activities.

Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 1.

Attorney General Opinions. The definition of “agriculture” in T.C. A. §§ 1-3-105(a)(2)(A) and 43-1-113(b)(1) applies  in determining the meaning of “agricultural” as used in T.C.A. § 5-1-118(b), T.C.A. § 5-1-122, and T.C.A. § 13-7-114. AG LEXIS 35 (7/26/2017).

Based on the applicable definitions of “agriculture” and “agricultural,” concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) clearly involve “agricultural” activities and the “agricultural” use of land and structures. Thus, a county is not authorized to regulate CAFOs under its zoning powers or its general powers. T.C.A. § 44-18-104 merely sets forth which zoning requirements and regulations apply when determining whether a feedlot, dairy farm, or poultry production house is to be afforded absolute immunity from a nuisance claim, but it does not provide authority for a county to enact zoning requirements or regulations. T.C.A. § 13-7-114, which prevents counties from using their zoning power to regulate structures and land used for agricultural purposes, is not in conflict with T.C.A. § 44-18-104 because there is no independent source of zoning power bestowed upon any local entity under this right-to-farm law. T.C.A § 44-18-104(b) and (d) do not direct compliance with the section when no zoning requirements or regulations exist. When no zoning requirements or regulations exist, these provisions convey that a person’s compliance with the section is deemed to be established as a matter of law. OAG 18-30, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (7/6/2018).

5-1-123. General sessions court empowered to enforce county rules.

The general sessions court or court exercising the powers of a general sessions court in any county has jurisdiction of matters related to §§ 5-1-1185-1-123, and has the power to enforce regulations and resolutions by which counties may exercise authority under this part. In the event of a conflict between a regulation or resolution of a county made pursuant to this part and an ordinance or regulation of any municipality in the county, such conflict shall be resolved in favor of the municipality with respect to persons and property within the municipality.

Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1995, ch. 264, § 2 provided that it is not the intent of the general assembly in enacting that act to allow any county to prohibit or in any way impede any municipality in exercising any power or authority the municipality may lawfully exercise.

5-1-124. County hospitals — Authority to enter into contracts and agreements.

Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any county that owns and operates a hospital is authorized to enter into any contract or agreement that any privately owned hospital operating under title 68 is authorized to enter into, including, but not limited to, agreements authorized by title 68, chapter 11, part 13, and Acts 1995, ch. 466.

Acts 1996, ch. 791, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1995, ch. 466, referred to in this section, amended and enacted numerous sections in titles 63 and 68. See the Session Laws Disposition Table in Volume 13.

5-1-125. County officials or employees prohibited from purchasing surplus property except at public auction — Penalty.

  1. It is hereby declared unlawful for any county official or employee to purchase from the county any property declared to be surplus by the county except by bid at public auction or competitive sealed bid during the tenure of such person's office or employment, or for six (6) months thereafter.
  2. A purchaser who violates this section commits a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1998, ch. 1043, § 2; 2005, ch. 10, § 1.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

5-1-126. Requirements prior to employment with county.

  1. A county may require all persons prior to employment with such county to:
    1. Agree to the release of all investigative records to the county for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of criminal violation information contained on an employment application; and
    2. Supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee bureau of investigation. In addition, to the extent permitted by federal law, and at the discretion of the county, a check of such prints may be made against records maintained by the federal bureau of investigation.
  2. Any costs incurred by the Tennessee bureau of investigation or the federal bureau of investigation, as appropriate, in conducting such investigations of applicants shall be paid by the county requesting such investigation and information; provided, that the county may require an applicant to pay such costs if the applicant is offered and accepts a position with such county. Payment of such costs is to be made in accordance with § 38-6-103.
  3. A county may establish the job titles or classifications to which the requirements of this section apply. Such classifications shall not supersede any mandatory fingerprint-based criminal history background requirements that may be applicable for any person who is seeking employment in a position in any program subject to licensure, approval or certification by any state agency.

Acts 2000, ch. 693, § 2.

Cross-References. Requirements prior to employment with municipality, § 6-54-129.

5-1-127. Charter of incorporation to be posted on Internet.

  1. No later than January 1, 2009, every municipality and county, including any county having a charter form of government or metropolitan government, shall post its charter of incorporation, as most recently revised or amended, on a web site maintained by the municipality or county or on the web site maintained by the secretary of state, if the municipality or county does not have or maintain a web site.
  2. Within three (3) months following any changes or revisions to the charter, the electronic language posted on the web site shall be corrected by the municipality or county to reflect such changes or revisions. The secretary of state is not responsible for maintaining the correct language of a charter, if the charter is posted on the web site maintained by the secretary of state.

Acts 2008, ch. 808, § 1.

5-1-128. Sale of surplus property by public auction includes sale by Internet auction.

When a county, including any county having a charter or metropolitan form of government, is required by any law or its charter to sell surplus property by public auction, “public auction” includes the sale by Internet auction.

Acts 2009, ch. 173, § 3.

5-1-129. Design review commission.

    1. It is the intent of the general assembly that all appropriate actions should be taken to authorize the local legislative body in any county having a population of not less than one hundred sixty thousand six hundred (160,600) nor more than one hundred sixty thousand seven hundred (160,700), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census which has county-wide zoning to protect the manner in which growth and construction of buildings are regulated in areas of historical significance to a locality, the county and the state.
    2. The county legislative body of a county to which subdivision (a)(1) applies may create a design review commission, referred to in this section as “DRC,” having the authority to develop general guidelines for the exterior appearance of and entrance to properties which are located in an area of historical significance to a locality, the county and the state. The only properties to which this section applies located in such area must be:
      1. Nonresidential property; or
      2. Multiple family residential property.
    3. The county legislative body may designate the planning commission as the design review commission.
    4. When developing the guidelines for the exterior appearance of and entrance to properties identified in subdivision (a)(2), the county legislative body or planning commission must obtain input from citizens living within the area as well as from persons who have an interest in and knowledge of preservation of historic buildings.
    5. When the county creates a separate DRC, the county mayor or county executive or metropolitan mayor shall appoint the members of the DRC from residents of the county and shall strive to ensure that the membership is representative of the county as a whole, including, if possible, members with either architectural or engineering knowledge, or any other person having experience in nonresidential building.
  1. If a municipality within a county has a planning region outside of its current corporate limits, and the municipality has a DRC that has adopted guidelines, then the county's DRC shall adopt the same guidelines as the municipality for that area within the municipality's planning region insofar as such guidelines meet the requirements of subsection (a).
  2. The county DRC guidelines adopted pursuant to subsection (a) shall not apply within the corporate limits of any municipality unless the municipality adopts such county's DRC guidelines.
  3. This section shall not apply to any agricultural buildings in the unincorporated area of the county.
  4. The county DRC guidelines adopted pursuant to subsection (a) shall be subject to approval by the county legislative body. Once approved, county building permits issued pursuant to § 13-7-110 or similar law, shall be withheld for noncompliance with DRC guidelines.
  5. Any property owner affected by the guidelines or the withholding of a building permit due to noncompliance with such adopted DRC guidelines may appeal a decision of the DRC or the county building commissioner or similar official to the county board of zoning appeals created pursuant to § 13-7-106, or similar law, for a final decision.
  6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to “outdoor advertising” as defined in § 54-21-102.

Acts 2012, ch. 1034, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

5-1-130. Contracts and agreements of economic and community development program as public record.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any contract or agreement, together with all supporting records and documentation, that obligates public funds as part of a county's economic and community development program to assist new and existing businesses and industries in locating or expanding in the county is a public record subject to title 10, chapter 7, part 5, and open for public inspection as of the date such contract or agreement is made available to members of the governing body. A governing body shall publicly disclose the proposed contract or agreement in a manner that would adequately notify and fairly inform the public of the proposed contract or agreement before voting on the proposal.
  2. This section does not apply to trade secrets received or maintained by a county. All such trade secrets are confidential.
  3. This section does not apply to company documents or records containing marketing information or capital plans that are provided to a county with the understanding that they are confidential. Any such document or record is confidential until such time as the provider thereof no longer requires its confidentiality.
  4. As used in this section:
    1. “Capital plans” means plans, feasibility studies, and similar research and information that will contribute to the identification of future business sites and capital investments;
    2. “Marketing information” means marketing studies, marketing analyses, and similar research and information designed to identify potential customers and business relationships; and
    3. “Trade secrets” means manufacturing processes, materials used in manufacturing processes, and costs associated with the manufacturing process of a person or company submitting information to a county relating to an opportunity to contract with the county.

Acts 2017, ch. 421, § 1.

Effective Dates. Acts 2017, ch. 421, § 3. May 18, 2017.

Cross-References. Confidentiality of public records, § 10-7-504.

5-1-131. Term limits relative to persons serving without compensation.

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a county legislative body may adopt a resolution by a majority vote prohibiting term limits for persons appointed to boards or commissions by the county mayor if the appointee serves without compensation, not including reimbursement for travel and expenses.

Acts 2018, ch. 761, § 1.

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 761,  § 2. April 19, 2018.

5-1-132. Prohibited regulation of business of person under 18 years of age.

  1. As used in this section:
    1. “Business” means any enterprise carried on for the purpose of gain or economic profit; and
    2. “Gross receipts”:
      1. Means all receipts from whatever sources derived before any deductions; and
      2. Does not include tips, gratuities, or other amounts customarily assumed to be intended for the person who has served the customer or client.
  2. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a county shall not require a license, permit, or any other form of regulation for a business that:
    1. Is operated solely by a person or persons under eighteen (18) years of age;
    2. Is located on private property with the permission of the property owner; and
    3. Generates gross receipts of three thousand dollars ($3,000) or less in a calendar year.

Acts 2019, ch. 210, § 1.

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, ch. 210, § 3. July 1, 2019.

Part 2
Charter Form of Government

5-1-201. Purpose — Construction.

  1. It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent and purpose of this part to provide for the right to charter for counties as an alternate form of county government.
  2. This part shall be liberally construed as a utilization of the constitutional power granted by amendment to the Constitution of Tennessee, article VII, § 1 approved at an election on March 7, 1978.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-121.

Cross-References. Local enterprise zones, title 13, ch. 28, part 2.

Attorney General Opinions. Transfer of duties of Knox County circuit court clerk, OAG 00-041, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 41 (3/13/00).

Altering term of county assessor.  OAG 11-38, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 40 (4/26/11).

Officers under county charter.  OAG 12-103, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 106 (11/2/12).

Members of a county legislative body can establish partisan caucuses for the purpose of outlining and meeting party objectives and goals but meetings of a partisan caucus of a county legislative body may be subject to the Open Meetings Act. OAG 14-96, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 99 (10/30/14).

5-1-202. Charter adoption — Effect on existing offices, etc. — Effect on constitutional officers.

  1. After adoption of a charter pursuant to this part, no right, power, duty, obligation or function of any officer, agency or office of such county shall be retained and continued unless this part or the charter of such county expressly so provides, or unless such retention and continuation be required by the Constitution of Tennessee.
  2. The adoption of a charter shall not have the effect of removing the incumbent from any county office or abridging the term or altering the salary prior to the end of the term for which such public officer was elected.
  3. No charter, whether existing or adopted after May 22, 2019, may be interpreted or amended to alter, amend, or reduce the duties, qualifications, or privileges of the constitutional county offices of sheriff, register, county clerk, assessor of property, or trustee in a manner inconsistent with the laws of this state; provided, that a charter may increase the duties of such offices in a manner consistent with the laws of this state. This subsection (c) must not be construed to affect the terms of the constitutional county offices of sheriff, register, county clerk, assessor of property, or trustee.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 2; T.C.A., § 5-122; Acts 2019, ch. 458, § 1.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment added (c).

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, ch. 458, § 2. May 22, 2019.

Cross-References. Charter adoption, rights preserved, § 5-1-212.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Charter Invalidity.

County charter was invalid because it did not provide for the constitutional county offices or otherwise assign their duties to another office, agency, or official; however, a term limits amendment to the charter under Knox County, Tenn., County Charter art. VIII, § 8.17 was upheld because there was a de facto government, as the term limits applied to all county officials with the exception of school board members and clerks of court. Jordan v. Knox County, 213 S.W.3d 751, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. 2007).

5-1-203. Authority to adopt charter form.

  1. Each county in this state may adopt a charter form of government as provided in this part.
  2. Such charter when complete shall result in the creation and establishment of an alternate form of county government to perform all the governmental and corporate functions previously performed by the county.
  3. Such charter form of government shall replace the existing form if approved by a majority of the voters in a referendum.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 3; T.C.A., § 5-123.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Charter Invalid.

County charter was invalid because it did not provide for the constitutional county offices or otherwise assign their duties to another office, agency, or official; however, a term limits amendment to the charter under Knox County, Tenn., County Charter art. VIII, § 8.17 was upheld because there was a de facto government, as the term limits applied to all county officials with the exception of school board members and clerks of court. Jordan v. Knox County, 213 S.W.3d 751, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. 2007).

5-1-204. Charter commission — Creation.

  1. The initial step in a charter form of county government shall be the creation of a charter commission.
    1. The charter commission may be created by the adoption of a charter resolution by the legislative body of a county.
    2. Such resolution shall be adopted by a majority of all members constituting such legislative body, and not by merely a majority of the quorum at any regular meeting or at any meeting specially called to consider such resolution.
    3. Such resolution shall provide that a charter commission is established to propose to the people an alternative form of county government to perform all of the governmental and corporate functions of the county.
    4. Such resolution shall provide that an election shall be held to select members of the charter commission.
    5. Members of the charter commission shall be elected from the same districts and in the same manner as the members of the county legislative body. No more than three (3) members of the charter commission shall be elected from any one (1) district.
    6. A copy of the resolution providing for an election to select members of the charter commission shall be certified by the county clerk to the county election commission, together with certificates as to the fact and date of adoption, and thereupon an election shall be held as provided in § 5-1-205.
    1. Alternatively, the charter commission may be created by proclamation of the county mayor.
    2. Such proclamation shall be ratified by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members constituting the county legislative body, and not by merely a majority of the quorum at any regular meeting or at any meeting specially called to consider such proclamation.
    3. Such proclamation shall provide that a charter commission is established to propose to the people an alternative form of county government to perform all of the governmental and corporate functions of the county.
    4. Such proclamation shall also identify and appoint the individual members of the charter commission.
    5. Members of the charter commission shall be appointed from the same districts as members of the county legislative body are elected. No more than three (3) members of the charter commission shall be appointed from any one (1) district.
    6. This subsection (c) shall not apply in counties having a population of:

      not less than  nor more than

      4,300 4,400

      4,500 4,600

      6,125 6,225

      7,650 7,700

      9,350 9,400

      13,565 13,600

      14,925 14,940

      15,675 15,775

      19,500 19,575

      26,400 26,500

      31,900 32,000

      32,600 32,700

      38,300 38,315

      47,575 47,615

      143,900 144,000

      according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

    1. A charter resolution creating a charter commission may be initiated by petition of the voters in the following manner:
      1. The petition shall be addressed to the county legislative body requesting that a charter commission be created, and it shall state the number of members to be elected as members of such commission;
      2. The petition shall state the number of members to be elected from each of the same districts as members of the county legislative body. No more than three (3) members of the charter commission shall be elected from any one (1) district;
      3. The petition shall be signed by at least a number of registered voters in the county equal to ten percent (10%) of the total number of votes cast in such county for governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election;
      4. The petition requesting such resolution shall be filed with the county clerk and a photographic copy of the petition shall be filed at the same time with the county election commission, which shall be the judge of the sufficiency of the petition.
    2. The county election commission shall hold an election on the charter resolution, as in subsection (b).
  2. A charter commission may be created in any county in the manner prescribed by private act of the general assembly.
    1. Nothing contained within this section shall be construed to affect the judicial system in any county adopting a charter form of government except as its charter or ordinances may direct the imposing, levying or collection of fines, penalties, fees or court costs or the procedures for the filling of vacancies as required by law.
    2. This subsection (f) shall not apply to counties with a population of not less than two hundred eighty-five thousand (285,000) nor more than two hundred ninety thousand (290,000), based upon the 1980 federal census.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 4; T.C.A., § 5-124; Acts 1983, ch. 422, §§ 1, 2; 1984, ch. 763, § 1; 1984, ch. 905, §§ 1, 2; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. Shelby County ordinance creating private right of action for civil rights violations.  OAG 12-73, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 80 (7/19/12).

Once elected, members of a charter commission have a duty to prepare and file a charter for consideration by the people. The applicable statutes place no limits on a county legislative body’s authority to extend the time a charter commission has to prepare and file its proposed charter.  State law does not provide any other specific remedies for a charter commission’s failure to fulfill its duty, but a county legislative body has some implied authority over the continued existence of the commission. OAG 18-36, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 35 (7/30/2018).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Judicial Employees.

County charter was invalid because it did not provide for the constitutional county offices or otherwise assign their duties to another office, agency, or official; however, a term limits amendment to the charter under Knox County, Tenn., County Charter art. VIII, § 8.17 was upheld because there was a de facto government, as the term limits applied to all county officials with the exception of school board members and clerks of court. Jordan v. Knox County, 213 S.W.3d 751, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. 2007).

5-1-205. Charter commission — Election of members.

  1. Upon the adoption of a charter resolution by the legislative body of a county or by petition of the voters, which resolution provides for an election of the members of a charter commission, it shall be the duty of the county election commission to call an election to elect members of the charter commission, such election to be held concurrently with the next primary or general election in the county occurring seventy-five (75) days or more after such resolution is adopted or otherwise becomes effective.
  2. The cost of the election shall be paid out of the county funds.
  3. The number of candidates in each district receiving the highest total vote in such election, as specified in such resolution, shall be elected as members of the charter commission.
  4. Any qualified voter of the county shall be eligible for election as a member of such charter commission.
  5. The deadline for filing nominating petitions for candidates for the charter commission shall be no later than twelve o'clock (12:00) noon, prevailing time, on the date established in § 2-5-101. For any election of charter commission members held within the year 2010, the candidates for the office shall qualify by filing all nominating petitions no later than twelve o'clock (12:00) noon, prevailing time, on the fifty-fifth day before the election, and candidates must withdraw no later than twelve o'clock (12:00) noon, prevailing time, on the fifty-second day before the election.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 5; T.C.A., § 5-125; Acts 2010, ch. 948, § 1.

5-1-206. Charter commission — Meetings — Organization — Staff.

  1. The members of the charter commission shall hold an organizational meeting at the courthouse at ten o'clock a.m. (10:00 a.m.) on the fifth weekday following their certification of election or, alternatively, as the case may be, on the fifth weekday following ratification by the county legislative body of the proclamation providing for their appointment, or at such subsequent date and place as a majority of the members may choose.
  2. The charter commission shall elect a chair, chair pro tempore, a secretary, and such other officers as it may deem necessary.
  3. The charter commission shall be authorized to employ such staff as may be required to assist it in drafting a charter for an alternate form of county government to be proposed for adoption.
  4. Members of the charter commission shall not receive per diem or other compensation for their services, but may be reimbursed for actual expenses.
  5. The staff employed by such commission shall be paid compensation as determined by such charter commission within the limits of funds available to it under this part.
  6. Any vacancy in the office of charter commissioner shall be filled by an election of a new member by the county legislative body.
  7. All meetings of the charter commission shall be held in compliance with title 8, chapter 44.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 6; T.C.A., § 5-126; Acts 1983, ch. 422, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. The alternate meeting time provided for in subsection (a) applies only in those counties to which § 5-1-204(c) applies.

5-1-207. Charter commission — Appropriations — Assistance of public officials.

  1. Whenever any charter commission is established, it shall be the duty of the legislative body of the county to appropriate sufficient funds to defray the expenses of such commission, which appropriation shall be not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). Such funds shall be disbursed by the county mayor or other fiscal officer of the county upon vouchers or warrants signed by the chair and the secretary of such commission.
  2. All public officials shall, upon request, furnish the commission with all information and assistance necessary or appropriate for its work.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 7; T.C.A., § 5-127; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. A county charter commission is not authorized to use public funds to advocate adoption of the charter county form of government in an upcoming referendum.  OAG 12-86, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 85 (9/11/12).

5-1-208. Charter commission — Duties.

  1. Each charter commission shall prepare and file the charter proposed by it not later than nine (9) months after the date of its initial meeting, or within such extended limit of time as may be authorized by resolution of the legislative body of the county.
  2. The chair of the charter commission shall certify and file copies of such proposed charter with the county clerk and with the county election commission. Such copies shall be public records, available for inspection or examination by any interested person. Such charter commission shall also furnish or make available to every daily or weekly newspaper published in the county a complete copy of such charter.
  3. Such charter commission shall take such other steps within the limitation of its available funds as it deems reasonable and appropriate to inform the public throughout the county of the contents of the proposed charter, and the same may be published or summarized in pamphlets and booklets to be made available for general distribution.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 8; T.C.A., § 5-128.

Attorney General Opinions. A county charter commission is not authorized to use public funds to advocate adoption of the charter county form of government in an upcoming referendum.  OAG 12-86, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 85 (9/11/12).

Once elected, members of a charter commission have a duty to prepare and file a charter for consideration by the people. The applicable statutes place no limits on a county legislative body’s authority to extend the time a charter commission has to prepare and file its proposed charter.  State law does not provide any other specific remedies for a charter commission’s failure to fulfill its duty, but a county legislative body has some implied authority over the continued existence of the commission. OAG 18-36, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 35 (7/30/2018).

5-1-209. Charter referendum.

  1. After a copy of the proposed charter has been certified to the county election commission, as provided in § 5-1-208, it shall be the duty of the county election commission to hold a referendum election for the ratification or rejection of the proposed charter.
  2. The ballots used in the election shall have printed on them a brief summary of the proposed charter as required by § 2-5-208(f). The ballots shall be prepared so as to provide a choice for voters as follows:

    For a charter form of county government  .

    Against a charter form of county government  .

  3. The referendum election shall be held at the time of the next general election. Notice of the referendum election shall be given as required in other elections on questions submitted to the vote of the people.
  4. The proposed charter shall be deemed ratified and adopted if it is approved by a majority of those voting in the referendum.
    1. The returns of the referendum election shall be certified by the county election commission to the secretary of state, together with a copy of the charter previously filed with such county election commission by the charter commission.
    2. Thereupon, the secretary of state shall issue a proclamation showing the result of such election on the adoption or rejection of the proposed charter, one (1) copy of which proclamation shall be attached to the copy of the charter theretofore certified to the secretary of state and one (1) copy of which shall be delivered to the county clerk, who shall attach the same to the copy of the charter theretofore certified to such county clerk.
    3. Whenever a charter form of county government has been adopted, such two (2) certified copies with proclamations attached thereto shall be deemed duplicate original copies of the charter of such government.
    4. The certified copy of the charter and proclamation deposited with the county clerk shall subsequently be delivered by such county clerk to such officer of the county government as the charter may direct.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 9; T.C.A., § 5-129.

Collateral References.

Interplay between Twenty-First Amendment and Commerce Clause concerning state regulation of intoxicating liquors. 116 A.L.R.5th 149.

5-1-210. Charter contents.

The proposed county charter shall provide:

  1. For the creation of an alternative form of county government vested with any and all powers that counties are, or may hereafter be, authorized or required to exercise under the Constitution and general laws of the state, and any and all powers and duties of such county that are required or authorized by private acts effective on the date of ratification of such charter, as fully and completely as though the powers were specifically enumerated therein;
  2. That such chartered county government shall be a public corporation, with perpetual succession, capable of suing and being sued, and capable of purchasing, receiving and holding property, real and personal, and of selling, leasing or disposing of the same to the extent as other counties;
  3. For a county legislative body, which shall be the legislative body of the county and shall be given all the authority and functions of the legislative body of the county being chartered, with such exceptions and with such additional authority as may be specified elsewhere in this part;
  4. For the size, method of election, qualification for holding office, method of removal, and procedures of the county legislative body with such other provisions with respect to such body as are normally related to the organization, powers and duties of governing bodies in counties;
  5. For the assignment of administrative and executive functions to officers of the county government, which officers may be given, subject to such limitations as may be deemed appropriate or necessary, all or any part of the administrative and executive functions possessed by the county being chartered and such additional powers and duties, not inconsistent with general law or the Constitution of Tennessee;
  6. For the names or titles of the administrative and executive officers of the county government, their qualifications, compensation, method of selection, tenure, removal, replacement and such other provisions with respect to such officers, not inconsistent with general law, as may be deemed necessary or appropriate for the county government;
  7. For such administrative departments, agencies, boards and commissions as may be necessary and appropriate to perform the functions of county government in an efficient and coordinated manner and for this purpose for the alteration or abolition of existing county offices, departments, boards, commissions, agencies and functions, except where otherwise provided in this part or prohibited by the Constitution of Tennessee;
  8. For the maintenance and administration of an effective civil service system and of county employees' retirement and pension systems and the regulation of such systems; provided, that nothing in this part or in a charter adopted pursuant to this part shall impair or diminish the rights and privileges of the existing employees under civil service or in the existing county employees' retirement and pension systems. Nothing in this subdivision (8) shall be construed to require any county to establish a civil service system or to establish and maintain its own retirement and pension system in the adoption of a charter form of county government;
  9. For the method and procedure by which such charter may subsequently be amended; provided, that no such amendment shall be effective until submitted to the qualified voters of the county and approved by a majority of those voters voting thereon;
  10. For such procedures, methods and steps as are determined to be necessary or appropriate to effectuate a transition from the existing county government to the chartered form of county government;
  11. Such terms and provisions as are contained in any private act with respect to any county owned utility supported by its own revenues and operated, administered and managed pursuant to such private act; provided, that such terms and provisions of the charter may subsequently be amended pursuant to subdivision (9); and
  12. That the duties of the constitutional county officers as prescribed by the general assembly shall not be diminished under a county charter form of government; provided, that such officers may be given additional duties under such charters.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 10; T.C.A., § 5-130.

Law Reviews.

Constitutional Law — State Constitution of Tennessee — Term Limits in a County Charter Authorized under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 5-1-210(4) and Article VII, Section 1 of the Tennessee Constitution, 74 Tenn L. Rev. 421 (2007).

Attorney General Opinions. School board elections subject to general law, OAG 97-132, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 165 (9/23/97).

Altering term of county assessor.  OAG 11-38, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 40 (4/26/11).

A county charter commission is not authorized to use public funds to advocate adoption of the charter county form of government in an upcoming referendum.  OAG 12-86, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 85 (9/11/12).

Officers under county charter.  OAG 12-103, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 106 (11/2/12).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

Under T.C.A. § 5-1-210(4) Shelby County was authorized to adopt Charter § 2.03(G) limiting terms of members of a county legislative body; Section 5-1-210(4) did not violate Tenn. Const. art. VII, § 1 to the extent that the statute authorized a county with a charter form of government to impose term limits upon members of its legislative body. Bailey v. County of Shelby, 188 S.W.3d 539, 2006 Tenn. LEXIS 208 (Tenn. 2006).

2. Invalidity.

County charter was invalid because it did not provide for the constitutional county offices or otherwise assign their duties to another office, agency, or official; however, a term limits amendment to the charter under Knox County, Tenn., County Charter art. VIII, § 8.17 was upheld because there was a de facto government, as the term limits applied to all county officials with the exception of school board members and clerks of court. Jordan v. Knox County, 213 S.W.3d 751, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. 2007).

5-1-211. Chartered counties — Ordinances.

  1. The legislative body of each county that adopts a charter form of county government may pass ordinances relating to purely county affairs, but such ordinances shall not be opposed to the general laws and shall not interfere with the local affairs of any municipality within the limit of such county.
  2. Each county government created and established pursuant to this part is empowered to set maximum monetary penalties and forfeitures up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for violation of county ordinances. In counties with a population of over seven hundred thousand (700,000), according to the 1990 federal census, no fine over fifty dollars ($50.00) is allowed unless the ordinance permitting such is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county commission.
    1. Every ordinance shall be read on three (3) different days in open session of the legislative body before its adoption, and not less than one (1) week shall elapse between first and third readings, and any ordinance not so read shall be null and void. Such county may establish by ordinance a procedure to read the caption of an ordinance on the first and second readings and an ordinance in its entirety on the third reading; provided, that for any ordinance that is longer than two (2) typewritten pages, the county may adopt a procedure to read a summary of the ordinance in lieu of reading the entire ordinance. Copies of such ordinances shall be available during regular business hours at the office of the county clerk and during sessions in which the ordinance has its second and third readings.
    2. Unless prohibited by its charter, the county legislative body of a county that has a charter form of county government may by ordinance require every ordinance to be read on two (2) different days in open session of the legislative body before its adoption, and not less than one (1) week shall elapse between first and second readings, and any ordinance not so read shall be null and void. Such county may establish by ordinance a procedure to read the caption of an ordinance on the first reading and an ordinance in its entirety on the second reading; provided, that for any ordinance that is longer than two (2) typewritten pages, the county may adopt a procedure to read a summary of the ordinance in lieu of reading the entire ordinance. Copies of such ordinances shall be available during regular business hours at the office of the county clerk and during sessions in which the ordinance has its second reading.
    1. An ordinance shall not take effect until fifteen (15) days after its passage, except in case of an emergency ordinance.
    2. An emergency ordinance may become effective upon the day of its final passage; provided, that it shall contain the statement that an emergency exists and shall specify with distinctness the facts and reasons constituting such an emergency.
    3. The unanimous vote of all members of the legislative body present shall be required to pass an emergency ordinance.
    4. No ordinance making a grant, renewal or extension of a franchise or other special privilege, or regulating the rate to be charged for its service by any public utility shall ever be passed as an emergency ordinance.
    5. No ordinance shall be amended except by a new ordinance.
  3. In all ordinances adopted under subsections (c) and (d), the vote shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for or against an ordinance shall be entered upon the journal.
  4. The county clerk shall number and compile in an ordinance book all ordinances and shall preserve such book in the county clerk's office.
  5. After passage all ordinances of a penal nature shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, and no such ordinance shall take effect prior to its publication.
  6. Ordinances shall be enforced by the chief law enforcement officer of the county, unless an ordinance otherwise provides.
  7. Persons charged with violation of an ordinance in whole or in part shall be tried in the court of general sessions. Any fines collected for such violation shall be paid into the county general fund unless the ordinance otherwise provides.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 11; T.C.A., § 5-131; Acts 1988, ch. 645, § 1; 1992, ch. 681, § 1; 1993, ch. 186, § 1; 1999, ch. 100, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Attorney General Opinions. Banning smoking in a public building, OAG 97-058, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 51 (4/29/97).

Applicability of county civil service ordinance to employees of elected county officials, OAG 99-059, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 40 (3/10/99).

Officers under county charter.  OAG 12-103, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 106 (11/2/12).

5-1-212. Charter adoption — Rights, etc., preserved.

  1. The creation and establishment of a charter form of county government pursuant to this part shall not alter or change zoning regulations effective in the county, but the same shall continue until modified or changed by the county legislative body acting under authority granted in the charter.
  2. Nothing in the charter of a county shall be construed to abolish, limit or abrogate any rights, privileges, duties or liabilities created by contract with the existing form of county government prior to the adoption of the county charter.
  3. Nothing in the charter of a county shall be construed to abolish, limit or abrogate any rights of or against the county existing prior to the adoption of the county charter.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 12; T.C.A., § 5-132.

Cross-References. Charter adoption, effect on existing offices, etc., § 5-1-202.

5-1-213. Chartered counties — Privilege taxes.

Each county government created and established pursuant to this part shall be authorized and empowered to levy within its area any and every privilege tax that a county is now authorized to levy or may hereafter be authorized to levy.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 13; T.C.A., § 5-133.

5-1-214. Charter adoption — Effective date.

If a charter is approved as provided in § 5-1-209, the charter form of government shall take effect in the county on September 1 of the year in which the terms of the incumbent members of the county legislative body expire; provided, that such referendum shall have been held at least eighty (80) days prior to such date.

Acts 1979, ch. 402, § 14; T.C.A., § 5-134.

5-1-215. Financial policy on debt required for certain counties.

The county legislative body of any county having a charter form of government that has a population in excess of eight hundred thousand (800,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, shall adopt a financial policy establishing guidelines and goals in regard to the amount and type of debt issued by or on behalf of such county. Such policy shall be adopted within one (1) year from May 30, 2001.

Acts 2001, ch. 326, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Part 3
County Officials Certificate Training Program Act

5-1-301. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “County Officials Certificate Training Program Act.”

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 1.

5-1-302. Participants.

In the interpretation of this part, “participant” includes county sheriffs, trustees, state court clerks, county clerks, county mayors, registers of deeds, assessors of property, chief administrative officers of the county highway departments, county legislative body members, and the staff, employees, deputies and assistants to such officials who take courses under the county officials certificate training program (COCTP) as administered by the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training.

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 2; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-1-303. Creation.

There is hereby created a county officials certificate training program (COCTP) to be offered and administered by the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training, with the assistance of the University of Tennessee institute for public service's county technical assistance service, and conducted in cooperation with the Tennessee County Services Association (TCSA), the County Officials Association of Tennessee (COAT), and the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association (TSA).

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 3.

5-1-304. Levels of training — Credit hours — Curricula certification.

  1. The county officials certificate training program (COCTP) shall be composed of three (3) levels of training: introductory, intermediate, and advanced.
  2. At the successful completion of all three (3) levels, a participant shall have accumulated a minimum of one hundred fifteen (115) credit hours of instruction or related association involvement.
  3. Curricula shall be offered for certification for the following county offices: county mayor, county legislative body member, county clerk, chief administrative officer of the county highway department, register of deeds, trustee, assessor of property, state court clerks and sheriff.

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 4; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-1-305. Introductory level — Requirements.

  1. For successful completion of the introductory level, thirty-six (36) credit hours of course work from the introductory level curricula, which may include up to eight (8) credits for association activities, within the county officials certificate training program (COCTP) must be completed by a participant.
  2. The introductory level curricula shall be the same for all of the county offices included within the COCTP and shall be developed by the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training.
  3. Introductory level requirements shall include one (1) course on county budgeting and one (1) course on supervisory/management skills.
  4. Upon successful completion of the introductory level, a participant will be awarded an introductory level certificate by the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training.

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 5.

5-1-306. Introductory level renewal sticker.

Participants who do not wish to enter the intermediate level or the advanced level or who cannot complete the requirements of the next level within one (1) year may complete eighteen (18) hours of training from courses not taken within the previous year and earn a renewal sticker to attach to the introductory level certificate.

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 6.

5-1-307. Intermediate level — Requirements.

  1. For successful completion of the intermediate level, fifty-one (51) credit hours of course work, including twenty-seven (27) credit hours for all officials and twenty-four (24) credit hours from the office specific courses developed for each of the county offices included in the county officials certificate training program (COCTP) must be completed by a participant.
  2. All intermediate level courses will include a post test as part of the course work, which must be passed by the participant prior to receiving credit for the course work.
  3. Participants who do not pass an intermediate level course shall repeat the course.
  4. Intermediate level courses may be taken prior to introductory level courses.
  5. Certificates will only be awarded by the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training in the proper sequence.
  6. Upon successful completion of the intermediate level, a participant will be awarded an intermediate level certificate by the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training.

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 7.

5-1-308. Advanced level — Requirements.

  1. For successful completion of the advanced level, twenty-eight (28) credit hours of course work must be completed by a participant. Such course work shall include a fourteen-hour roundtable discussion of the intergovernmental issues affecting counties in particular and the way the management knowledge gained through the county officials certificate training program (COCTP) can be applied, as well as the participation in a real-life case study exercise to identify a specific problem/opportunity in the office discussing with other roundtable participants the manner in which the participant would address the problem or opportunity with skills learned in the COCTP.
  2. At the end of the advanced level, participants who have successfully completed all three (3) levels will be designated “Certified Public Administrators”, in recognition of the significant time committed to their professional development, by the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training.

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 8.

5-1-309. Modification of course level requirements.

Modification of the course level requirements outlined in this part, including renewal criteria for any level, may be made by the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training with the concurrence of a majority of the education committees of the associations referred to in § 5-1-303.

Acts 1989, ch. 303, § 9.

5-1-310. Certified public administrator — Educational incentive payments.

  1. Any full-time county officer enumerated in § 8-24-102 who is designated as a “certified public administrator” pursuant to § 5-1-308 shall receive an annual educational incentive payment from the state treasurer in the amount of three hundred seventy-five dollars ($375), which amount shall be increased by a like amount each year until the official receiving such designation or continuing such designation shall receive an annual incentive amount of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500).
  2. By no later than August 31 of each year, the University of Tennessee institute for public service's center for government training shall provide the state treasurer with a list of all county officers described in subsection (a) who have successfully completed all levels of the county officials certificate training program (COCTP) for that year. The list shall include the respective address of each such county officer and other information that the state treasurer may deem necessary.
  3. The incentive provided for in subsection (a) shall continue to be paid each year to any such county officer; provided, that the officer is included in the list submitted under subsection (b) as having successfully completed the continuing education requirements of the program and all other requirements necessary to maintain the officer's designation as a certified public administrator.
  4. The incentive provided for by this section shall be paid by the state treasurer from funds appropriated for that purpose. The incentive shall be paid no later than October 31 of each year.
  5. The state treasurer shall offset the amount of any incentive payable to a county officer under this section against any other incentive or payment for professional training or development payable by the state to the officer so that the total amount paid to the officer by the state does not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500). The offset provided in this subsection (e) shall not be applicable to incentive compensation payable to assessors of property pursuant to § 67-1-508, and certified public administrator incentives payable to assessors shall be determined without regard to incentives payable under § 67-1-508.
  6. Notwithstanding this section or any other law to the contrary, the availability or the amount of the incentive authorized by this section shall be subject to the appropriation of funds in each year's general appropriations act for the purposes set forth in this section. If, in any given year, the amount appropriated in that year's general appropriations act is not sufficient to pay each eligible county officer in full, then the amount available shall be prorated by the state treasurer among such officers. Any unpaid portion shall not be carried forward to subsequent years.
  7. Any payment made pursuant to this section shall be considered as an incentive for the successful completion of educational training and shall not be considered in determining the county officer's average final compensation for retirement purposes pursuant to title 8, chapters 34-37. Further, the incentive payment shall not be used for the purpose of computing the salary or compensation of any other public official other than the officer receiving the incentive.
  8. The incentive provided for by this section shall not be paid retroactively, but shall become effective for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998.
  9. Each county is encouraged and authorized to provide in its annual budget for payment of an annual educational incentive to employees as defined in § 29-20-102 who attain the designation of a “certified public administrator” pursuant to § 5-1-308 in an amount not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000) less any payment received from the state as provided in subsection (a). The incentive provided by this section shall be paid from funds appropriated for such purpose and shall be paid in one (1) payment, no later than October 31. In any county providing such an incentive, the county mayor shall provide to the state treasurer the amount of any educational incentive paid in the county and the number of persons receiving such incentive, which the state treasurer shall compile in an annual report.

Acts 1998, ch. 941, § 1; 2001, ch. 405, § 8; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2005, ch. 204, §§ 5-7; 2007, ch. 184, § 1; 2007, ch. 473, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1998, ch. 941, § 2 provided that, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, funds required to implement the provisions of the act shall be expended from the general fund, and no funds allocated to the state treasurer shall be obligated for such implementation. It is the legislative intent that the funds of the state treasurer not be expended to implement the provisions of the act and that no appropriation to the state treasurer be reduced to offset such implementation costs.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Chapter 2
Changes in Boundaries—New Counties

5-2-101. New counties — General requirements.

  1. New counties may be established by the general assembly that consist of not less than two hundred seventy-five square miles (275 sq. mi.), and that shall contain a population of not less than seven hundred (700) qualified voters.
  2. No line of such county shall approach the courthouse of any old county from which it may be taken nearer than eleven (11) miles, nor shall such old county be reduced to less than five hundred square miles (500 sq. mi.).
  3. No part of a county shall be taken off to form a new county or a part thereof without the consent of two thirds (2/3) of the qualified voters in such part taken off; and where an old county is reduced for the purpose of forming a new one, the seat of justice in the old county shall not be removed without the concurrence of two thirds (2/3) of both branches of the general assembly.

Code 1858, § 82 (deriv. Const. 1834, art. 10, § 4); Shan., § 100 (as mod. by Const. 1870, art. 10, § 4); Code 1932, § 117; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-201.

Cross-References. Establishment of new counties, Tenn. Const., art. X, § 4.

Removal of county seat, title 5, ch. 4.

Transfer of assessments from old county, § 67-5-512.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 4.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Effective Date of County Alteration.

Where two civil districts are detached from one county and attached to another, but to take effect seven months after the passage of the act, the transfer is considered as effected at the passage of the act. Marion County v. Grundy County, 37 Tenn. 490, 1858 Tenn. LEXIS 45 (1858).

2. Measurement of Distances.

The rule of measurement of distance is the air line in the construction of the constitution and legislative acts. Macon & Smith Counties v. Trousdale County, 61 Tenn. 1, 1872 Tenn. LEXIS 333 (1872).

3. Consent of Voters.

The provision that no part of a county shall be taken off to form a new county, or a part thereof, without the consent of two-thirds of the qualified voters of the part taken off, means that two-thirds of all the qualified voters of such part must actually concur and affirmatively express their consent, and acquiescence will not be substituted therefor. Cocke v. Gooch, 52 Tenn. 294, 1871 Tenn. LEXIS 266 (1871).

4. Establishment of New Line.

The correctness of the action of commissioners in establishing the line between two counties, as directed by an act of the general assembly, cannot be attacked in a suit between individuals, to which the counties are not parties. Cross v. Sweeney, 77 Tenn. 689, 1882 Tenn. LEXIS 124 (1882).

5. New Line Close to Courthouse — Effect.

Where the line of a new county approaches the courthouses of an old county nearer than the constitutional limit, the new county has jurisdiction of all crimes committed within its established limits, although within the constitutional limits of the old county, so long as the old county acquiesces, or until it regains its lost territory. Speck v. State, 66 Tenn. 46, 1872 Tenn. LEXIS 448 (1872).

A statute changing the line between two counties is unconstitutional if it cuts off territory from one county that lies within 11 miles of its courthouse. Union County v. Knox County, 90 Tenn. 541, 18 S.W. 254, 1891 Tenn. LEXIS 39 (1891).

6. Powers of Courts Generally.

A new county, when it is completely organized under an act of the general assembly, becomes a political corporation, and the courts have no power to inquire into the validity of the act, and to abolish the county at the instance of individual citizens. Maury County v. Lewis County, 31 Tenn. 236, 1851 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1851).

7. Preventing Illegal Creation of County.

Where an act, constitutional upon its face, undertakes to establish a new county, the area of which is less than that prescribed by the constitution, and the boundaries of which approach nearer to the courthouse of an old county than the constitutional limit, the organization of the new county will be enjoined by the chancery court, upon the doctrine of quia timet, at the instance of any person aggrieved by the proceedings, — in this case, two citizens of the old county within the territory proposed to be detached. Bradley v. Commissioners, etc., 21 Tenn. 428, 1841 Tenn. LEXIS 37 (1841).

The chancery court has jurisdiction to prevent the violation of the constitution and law in the creation of new counties, and to secure to old counties the constitutional territory guaranteed to them. Humphreys County v. Houston County, 63 Tenn. 593, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 312 (1874).

8. —Restoration of Area to Old County.

Chancery court will force the boundary line back to the constitutional limit, when the line of the new county approaches closer to the courthouse of the old county than permitted. Ford v. Farmer, 28 Tenn. 152, 1848 Tenn. LEXIS 61 (1848).

Chancery court will restore area of county where its area was reduced below limit. Maury County v. Lewis County, 31 Tenn. 236, 1851 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1851).

Where an act, upon its face, is free from the objection that it reduces the territory of an old county below the constitutional limit, if the commissioners, in designating the boundary, do not conform to the direction of the act, and attempt to take from it a portion of its territory and population, and include them within the new county, they will be restored to the old county by decree of the chancery court, and five years' acquiescence alone will not waive its rights. Maury County v. Lewis County, 31 Tenn. 236, 1851 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1851).

Area of county will be restored where voting population has been reduced below constitutional limit. Bridgenor v. Rodgers, 41 Tenn. 259, 1860 Tenn. LEXIS 61 (1860).

The territory of a county of which it is unconstitutionally deprived will be restored to it, and it will not be estopped by mere lapse of time, in ignorance of the fact of the encroachment; but, until the filing of the bill, the revenue collected from the territory by the county to which it was thus unconstitutionally attached will not be refunded to the county from which it was so detached. Hancock County v. Hawkins County, 83 Tenn. 266, 1885 Tenn. LEXIS 48 (1885).

5-2-102. New counties — Notice of petition for creation.

When it is intended to petition the general assembly to create a new county, notice of such intention shall be posted on meeting days of the county legislative bodies, at least sixty (60) days next preceding the annual election of representatives to the general assembly, at the front doors of the courthouses of the counties from which the new county is proposed to be formed, which notice shall set forth the names of such counties, and the metes and bounds proposed for the new county.

Code 1858, § 83 (deriv. Acts 1849-1850, ch. 112); Shan., § 101; Code 1932, § 120; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-202.

5-2-103. Memorial for division of county.

  1. Any person desiring to divide a county shall prefer a memorial to the general assembly for that purpose.
  2. The memorial shall describe the line or lines of the proposed division and be accompanied by a fair and accurate plat of the county to be divided, representing together the old counties and the new one, the survey and plat to be made by a sworn surveyor, and by such surveyor subscribed and certified to be just and true.

Code 1858, §§ 88, 89 (deriv. Acts 1796 (March S.), ch. 13, §§ 1, 2); Shan., §§ 110, 111; Code 1932, §§ 129, 130; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-203.

5-2-104. Boundary changes — Plats and surveys.

  1. All applications for legislation changing county lines shall be accompanied by:
    1. An accurate survey and plat, showing the changes asked for, and giving courses and distances of the county line as it will be left after such change should be made; and
    2. A resolution approved by two thirds (2/3) of the county commissioners of all counties affected by such boundary line change.
  2. No bill providing for such change shall be in order unless so accompanied.

Acts 1895, ch. 105, § 1; Shan., § 93; Code 1932, § 111; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-204; Acts 1999, ch. 331, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2013, ch. 399, §§ 1 and 2, effective January 1, 2014, provided that the boundary lines between Davidson County and Wilson County shall be revised so as to include within Wilson County all of the territory described in the act.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 8.

Attorney General Opinions. Process and effect of altering boundaries between existing counties, OAG 98-035, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 35 (2/9/98).

Constitutionality and enforcement of legislative procedures for changing county lines, OAG 99-101, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 101 (5/5/99).

Constitutional permissibility of property transfer between Davidson and Wilson counties.  OAG 13-08, 2013 Tenn. AG LEXIS 8 (2/1/13).

Collateral References.

Challenging acts or proceedings by which its boundaries are affected, right of county as to. 86 A.L.R. 1373.

5-2-105. Transferred areas — Continuing liability.

The fractions taken from old counties to form new counties, or taken from one (1) county and added to another shall continue to be liable for their pro rata of all debts contracted by their respective counties prior to the separation, and be entitled to their proportion of any stocks or credits belonging to such old counties.

Const. 1870, art. 10, § 4; Shan., § 100a1; Code 1932, § 118; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-205.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 4.

Attorney General Opinions. Process and effect of altering boundaries between existing counties, OAG 98-035, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 35 (2/9/98).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Indebtedness of Old County.

The fractions of counties taken off to form new counties, or to be added to old counties, are liable for their pro rata of all debts of the old counties. Blount County v. Loudon County, 55 Tenn. 854, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 12 (1874).

2. Levy and Collection of Taxes.

The county from which property is detached levies and collects taxes for previously contracted debts, as if the detachment on separation had not taken place. Blount County v. Loudon County, 55 Tenn. 854, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 12 (1874); Matthews v. Blount County, 71 Tenn. 120, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 45 (1879).

A bill in equity will not lie to compel the new county to levy taxes to pay its pro rata. Blount County v. Loudon County, 55 Tenn. 854, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 12 (1874).

5-2-106. Transferred areas — Voting rights.

The registered voters who may be included in any new county shall vote with the county or counties from which they may have been stricken off, for members of congress, for governor and for members of the general assembly until the next apportionment of members to the general assembly after the establishment of such new county.

Const. 1870, art. 10, § 5; Shan., § 100a2; mod. Code 1932, § 119; Acts 1972, ch. 740, § 4(1); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-206.

Attorney General Opinions. Process and effect of altering boundaries between existing counties, OAG 98-035, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 35 (2/9/98).

5-2-107. Transcription of records.

The county legislative bodies of new counties so formed may appoint a commissioner or commissioners to transcribe the records of all title deeds to lands and mortgages and other pertinent instruments affecting lands lying in the new counties, and when the transcript is completed, the register of the county from which the same is taken shall affix such register's certificate to the transcript, and the same shall be filed with the register of the new county, and a copy from the transcript shall be as valid evidence of title in all courts of law and equity in this state as the original would be; provided, that the expenses of the transcript shall be paid by the county or counties for whose benefit the same is made.

Acts 1870-1871, ch. 112, § 2; Shan., § 109; Code 1932, § 128; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-207.

5-2-108. New or altered counties — Pending litigation.

  1. All actions at law or in equity, or causes in the court of general sessions of any old county where new counties have been formed from the territory of the same, if the parties interested in the suits live in the new counties so formed, and the subject matter of the suits originated within the limits of the new county, upon application of the parties litigant, or either of them, may be removed to the new county.
  2. When the plaintiff and defendant in any litigation both reside in a new county established by law, the litigation, if pending in one (1) of the old counties from which the new county is taken, may be transferred to the court established for the new county, either common law, chancery, or criminal, according to the nature of the case.

Code 1858, § 84 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 86, § 1); Acts 1870-1871, ch. 112, § 1; Shan., §§ 102, 108; Code 1932, §§ 121, 127; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 5-208, 5-209, 5-2-109.

Cross-References. Dissolution of new counties, pending litigation, § 5-2-112.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. When Order of Transfer Void.

Where the order transferring a pending suit from an old to a new county recites that “most of the complainants and defendants” reside in the new county, it is void, because the statute requires that all the parties shall reside in the new county to justify such order. Livingston v. Noe, 69 Tenn. 55, 1878 Tenn. LEXIS 42 (1878).

5-2-109. [Transferred.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-2-109 (Code 1858, § 84 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 86, § 1); Shan., § 102; Code 1932, § 121; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-209) was transferred in 1985 to § 5-2-108.

5-2-110. Transfer of court records.

In all cases where new counties are formed out of fractions of old counties, or where fractions of one county are attached to another county, it shall be the duty of the judge or judges of the court of general sessions of the old county, or of the county from which the fraction is taken, to deliver all the dockets, papers, public laws and statutes belonging to that judge's office to the nearest judge of the new county, or of the county to which the fraction is attached, and the judges to which the dockets, etc., are delivered, shall have the same authority over the dockets, etc., and the judgments thereon, as is by law conferred on the judge rendering such judgment.

Acts 1873, ch. 114, § 1; Shan., § 105; Code 1932, § 124; impl. am. Acts 1979, ch. 68, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-210.

5-2-111. Process on transferred records.

Where the docket shall have been delivered as provided in § 5-2-110, it shall be the duty of the magistrate of the new county to issue executions, scire facias, and such other process as may be necessary for the enforcement of the judgments thereon, to the same extent and in as full a manner as the magistrate of the old county could have done, and it shall be the duty of the county clerk of the new county, upon presentation of any such process, to certify to the official character of the magistrate issuing the execution or other process, and any such process so certified shall have the same force and validity in any other county as is now by law given to such process when issued by a magistrate of an old county and certified by the clerk thereof.

Acts 1873, ch. 114, § 2; Shan., § 106; Code 1932, § 125; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-211.

5-2-112. Dissolution of new county — Pending litigation.

  1. When a new county that has been established by act of the general assembly and that has gone into operation is subsequently dissolved in any way or for any reason, the pending litigation in the courts and before the judges of the court of general sessions of that county shall not abate, but shall be transferred to the courts and judges of the old county from which the new county was formed.
  2. The suits before judges of the court of general sessions, in such cases, will follow the place where the judge holds such judge's court.
  3. Suits in court shall be transferred to the county in which the defendant resides, if the defendant resides in either of the old counties from which the new county was taken, and, if not, to the old county selected by the plaintiff.

Code 1858, §§ 85, 86; Shan., §§ 103, 104; Code 1932, §§ 122, 123; impl. am. Acts 1979, ch. 68, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-212.

Cross-References. New or altered counties, pending litigation, § 5-2-108.

Textbooks. Pritchard on Wills and Administration of Estates (4th ed., Phillips and Robinson), § 610.

5-2-113. Dissolution of new county — Fiduciaries.

The executors, administrators and guardians appointed in such dissolved counties, who have not settled and closed their trusts, shall make settlements in the court of general sessions of the county that would have had jurisdiction if such new county had never been organized; and such persons may be proceeded against as if appointed in the old county.

Code 1858, § 87 (deriv. Acts 1849-1850, ch. 28, § 1); Shan., § 107; Code 1932, § 126; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-213.

Textbooks. Pritchard on Wills and Administration of Estates (4th ed., Phillips and Robinson), § 610.

5-2-114. Location of boundaries — Authority of state board of equalization.

The state board of equalization shall have jurisdiction to determine the location of county boundaries.

Acts 1972, ch. 622, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-214.

Cross-References. Exceptions, §§ 5-2-115, 5-2-116.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 8.

5-2-115. Location of boundaries — Assessment of property — Effects of county boundary changes — Notification.

  1. In circumstances where property is claimed to be located within the boundaries of two (2) adjoining counties and the property has been assessed for property taxation by both counties, the location of county boundaries shall be determined by the state board of equalization.
  2. If the state board determines that the entire property lies within either of the respective counties, it shall declare the assessment made by the other county void.
  3. Upon a determination by the state board that the property is partially located within the boundaries of both counties, it shall determine the number of acres or amount of property lying within each of the respective counties and determine the pro rata value of the property lying within each of the counties and assess the same pursuant to § 67-5-505.
  4. When property has been assessed in one county for five (5) years or more, the state board shall not have authority to rule that such property shall be located in a different county, but the board shall have authority to redress double assessment in these circumstances by voiding the later assessment to the extent it represents an assessment by both counties.

Acts 1972, ch. 622, § 2; 1975, ch. 156, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-215; Acts 2000, ch. 622, § 1; 2010, ch. 739, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2000, ch. 622, § 3 provided that the act shall apply to the tax year next following the adjustment of the records of the state board.

Cross-References. Use of property maps, § 67-5-806.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 8.

5-2-116. Location of boundaries — Purposes other than assessment.

  1. In circumstances where a dispute arises concerning the location of a county line for purposes other than property taxation, the state board of equalization shall have authority to determine the location of county lines.
  2. In such disputes, the state board shall not have the authority to locate a county line so that property that has been assessed for property taxation purposes in one (1) county for five (5) years or more is located in a different county.

Acts 1972, ch. 622, § 3; 1975, ch. 156, § 2; T.C.A., § 5-216.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 8.

5-2-117. Location of boundaries — Effect of determination.

Any determination of the state board of equalization regarding the location of county boundaries shall be final and conclusive subject to judicial review.

Acts 1972, ch. 622, § 4; T.C.A., § 5-217.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 8.

Chapter 3
Consolidation of Counties

5-3-101. State consolidation committee.

  1. There is created a state consolidation committee composed of the following members:
    1. The governor;
    2. The attorney general and reporter or the attorney general and reporter's representative;
    3. The commissioner of revenue or the commissioner's representative;
    4. The commissioner of transportation or the commissioner's representative;
    5. The commissioner of education or the commissioner's representative;
    6. The commissioner of environment and conservation or the commissioner's representative; and
    7. The director and secretary of the state planning office [abolished].
    1. The governor shall serve as chair of the committee and the committee shall meet subject to the call of the governor.
    2. All members shall be notified, in advance, of the time and place of each meeting, and four (4) members shall constitute a quorum.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 2; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.1 (Williams, § 136.2); impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1972, ch. 542, § 15; impl. am. Acts 1972, ch. 829, § 5; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-301.

Compiler's Notes. The state planning office, referred to in this section, was abolished by Acts 1995, ch. 501, effective June 12, 1995.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

Law Reviews.

City-County Separation and Consolidation, 16 Tenn. L. Rev. 217 (1940).

Attorney General Opinions. Process and effect of altering boundaries between existing counties, OAG 98-035, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 35 (2/9/98).

5-3-102. County consolidation committee.

  1. Upon receipt of a petition, signed by qualified voters of any one (1) county, equal in number to at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the number of votes cast in the county for governor in the last general election, requesting the consolidation of the county or parts of the county with one (1) or more adjoining counties, the state consolidation committee shall appoint a county consolidation committee for the county.
  2. The county consolidation committee shall be composed of the county mayor and the county trustee of the petitioning county, the county mayors of the adjoining counties, and five (5) signers of the petition designated by the governor.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 3; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.2 (Williams, § 136.3); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-302; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-103. Joint committee — Hearings and report.

  1. The state consolidation committee and the county consolidation committee shall act as a joint committee to consider the request for consolidation and shall hold hearings thereon within the petitioning county.
  2. The hearings shall be public and representatives of the governing bodies of the counties concerned in the proposed consolidation shall be invited to attend.
  3. Within ninety (90) days of the receipt of the petition by the state consolidation committee, the joint committee shall report its findings and recommendations on the feasibility of consolidation of the petitioning county with another county or counties.
  4. If such consolidation should be found desirable, the report shall recommend, among other things, the county or counties with which the petitioning county should be consolidated, and shall set the boundaries thereof.
  5. The findings of the report shall be published in a newspaper or newspapers or a periodical of general distribution within the counties so affected.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 3; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.2 (Williams, § 136.3); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-303.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-104. Referendum.

  1. If the report of the joint committee recommends that the petitioning county be consolidated, the county election commission of the petitioning county shall, after publication of the report, call an election in the county on the question of whether a constitutional majority of the qualified voters in the county are in favor of the plan of consolidation as recommended by the joint committee.
  2. All registered voters in the county may vote in the election.
    1. After completion of its duties under § 2-8-105(3), the county election commission shall determine and certify the result of the election.
    2. One (1) copy of the certificate shall be delivered by the county election commission to the county clerk of each of the counties affected, one (1) copy shall be delivered to the state consolidation committee, one (1) copy shall be delivered to the county consolidation committee, and one (1) copy shall be delivered to the secretary of state.
    3. Any irregularity in the certificate or any failure or omission to deliver, to forward, to file, or to record the certificate, as provided in subdivision (c)(2), shall not affect the validity of the act, or the legality of the consolidation of the petitioning county with any other county or counties; provided, that it be a fact that a constitutional majority of the qualified voters of the petitioning county voted for the consolidation of the county at the election.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 4; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.3 (Williams, § 136.4); Acts 1972, ch. 740, § 4(2); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-304.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-105. Dissolution of county — Effective date.

  1. If the result of the election shall show that a constitutional majority of the votes cast, namely two thirds (2/3) or more of the qualified voters in the petitioning county, were in favor of the plan for consolidation, it is declared that the petitioning county shall be, and it shall stand, abolished and dissolved as such, and its territory shall be transferred to, and shall become a part of, the county or counties as set forth in the consolidation plan and any act or acts relating to the creation of the petitioning county shall be and become repealed.
  2. The effective date of the abolishment of any such county and its offices shall be on the quadrennial date, computed from September 1, 1942, following next after completion of proceedings under this chapter.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 5; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.4 (Williams, § 136.5); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-305.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties to include total registered voters, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-106. Dissolution of county — Transfer of functions, etc.

Immediately upon the effective date of the consolidation of the petitioning county, all county offices of the county shall be and stand abolished, and it shall be the duty of the several county officers in the county to surrender their offices, books, records, funds and other property, and account to the like officers in the county or counties as set forth in the plan for consolidation; and the receiving officers shall be and become entitled to the offices, books, records, funds and property; and the trustee or county clerk, as the case may be, of the absorbing county or counties, shall collect and disburse, as provided by law, all unpaid taxes, fines, licenses and fees for that portion of the county being consolidated with the absorbing county.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 6; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.5 (Williams, § 136.6); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-306.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-107. Dissolution of county — Rights and duties of county officers.

  1. In the event of a favorable vote under § 5-3-104, the constitutional and other elective officers of the petitioning county, as provided by law, shall continue to serve out their existing terms of office and shall receive full compensation therefor; provided, that such compensation shall not be on a higher rate than was set for the office one (1) year before the receipt of the petition for consolidation by the state consolidation committee; and provided further, that all such offices and compensation shall be and stand abolished upon the effective date of consolidation.
  2. It shall be the duty of such officers to assist the like officers of the absorbing county or counties in effecting the necessary transfer of offices, books, records, funds and other property.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 7; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.6 (Williams, § 136.7); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-307.

Cross-References. Effective date of consolidation, § 5-3-105.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-108. Districts.

  1. All magisterial or civil districts shall become a part of the absorbing county or counties, as set forth in the consolidation plan.
    1. In the event the combined number of magisterial or civil districts in any absorbing county exceeds the constitutional limitation, namely twenty-five (25), the county legislative body of the county shall, in accordance with §§ 5-1-111 and 5-1-112, at its first regular meeting following the consolidation, redistrict the county to provide not more than the constitutional number of magisterial or civil districts.
    2. In the event the county fails so to act, the state consolidation committee is empowered, authorized and directed so to redistrict the county.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 7; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.6 (Williams, § 136.7); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-308.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-109. Indebtedness and property.

In the event of a favorable vote under § 5-3-104, the indebtedness of the petitioning county shall be and become the obligation of and against the absorbing county or counties, subject to limitations as set forth in any legislation hereinafter enacted and as set forth in the consolidation plan; and in a like manner the title to all the property, real, personal or mixed, or of whatever character, that belongs to the petitioning county, shall pass to and be and become the property of the absorbing county or counties.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 8; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.7 (Williams, § 136.8); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-309.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-110. Transfer of court records.

The records, papers, files, etc., in the chancery court, circuit court and court of general sessions of the petitioning county shall be, by the respective clerks of such courts, turned over to the clerks of the respective courts of the absorbing county or counties, as set forth in the consolidation plan.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 8; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.7 (Williams, § 136.8); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-310.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-111. Voting — Reapportionment.

  1. From and after the effective date of consolidation, the qualified voters of the petitioning county or any portion thereof shall vote in any general or special election with the voters of the county absorbing the petitioning county or portion thereof.
  2. The general assembly, following the effective date of consolidation, shall so apportion the members to the general assembly and shall make such adjustments in the judicial districts as may be found necessary.

Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 9; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.8 (Williams, § 136.9); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-311.

Cross-References. County legislative body reapportionment, § 5-1-111.

Effective date of consolidation, § 5-3-105.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-112. [Obsolete.]

Code Commission Notes.

Former § 5-3-112 (Acts 1939, ch. 224, § 10; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.9 (Williams, § 136.10); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-312), concerning remission of property taxes, is deemed obsolete and was deleted by the code commission in 2005.

5-3-113. Debt reorganization — Definition of terms.

As used in §§ 5-3-1135-3-121, the following words and terms have the following meanings:

  1. “Absorbed county” means any county or a part of any county that is absorbed by another county;
  2. “Absorbing county” means any county that absorbs any other county or portion of any county;
  3. “Funding bonds” means bonds issued to pay or to extend the time of payment of debts not evidenced by bonds;
  4. “Governing body” means the county legislative body of the “absorbing county”; and
  5. “Refunding bonds” means bonds issued to pay or to extend the time of payment of debts evidenced by bonds.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.10 (Williams, § 136.12); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-313.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-114. Debt reorganization — Plan.

  1. The governing body is authorized and empowered to prepare a plan of debt reorganization, which may include the bonded or floating indebtedness of the absorbing county, together with any bonded or floating indebtedness of any absorbed county, within ninety (90) days after a consolidation shall have taken place between counties or portions of counties.
  2. The plan of debt reorganization shall be subject to the review of the state consolidation committee, which must approve the plan of debt reorganization in writing before the governing body of the absorbing county undertakes any funding or refunding. To this end, the state consolidation committee shall have the power and authority to demand the production of any and all county books and records, and to require the counties to submit such proofs and information as, in the judgment of the state consolidation committee, may be necessary or helpful.
  3. Any plan of debt reorganization so prepared may provide for the issuance at one (1) time, or from time to time, of bonds of the absorbing or absorbed county for the following purposes:
    1. Funding any or all warrants, notes or other indebtedness of such unit not evidenced by bonds, and interest accrued on the warrants, notes or other indebtedness, that are outstanding at the close of the fiscal year immediately preceding the authorization of such funding bonds;
    2. Refunding any or all bonds of the absorbing and absorbed counties, and interest accrued thereon, whether such units issued such bonds or assumed or became liable therefor, including bonds not matured, if the unmatured bonds be then redeemable, or if the holder thereof be willing to surrender the same for retirement, and including bonds belonging to the sinking funds of such units; and
    3. To pay any redemption premium upon bonds so refunded and also such expenses as the governing body may deem reasonable and proper for carrying out  §§ 5-3-113 — 5-3-121.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 2; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.11 (Williams, § 136.13); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-314.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-115. Debt reorganization — Laws relating to particular county.

All bonds issued under §§ 5-3-1135-3-121 shall be issued according to any other public or private act relating to the absorbing county; provided, that those acts are not in conflict with §§ 5-3-1135-3-121.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 3; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.12 (Williams, § 136.14); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-315.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-116. Debt reorganization — Bond interest and maturity.

According to the debt reorganization plan, approved by the state consolidation committee, the governing body shall by resolution determine the rate or rates of interest to be paid on the bonds, not exceeding six percent (6%) per annum, and the time or times of payment of such interest, and the maturity or maturities of the bonds, which shall be at a time or times not exceeding twenty (20) years from the date of the bonds, in the case of funding bonds, and not exceeding thirty (30) years from the date of the bonds, in the case of refunding bonds; provided, that with the approval of the state consolidation committee, funding bonds may be made to mature at any time or times not exceeding thirty (30) years from the date of the bonds, and refunding bonds may be made to mature at any time or times not exceeding forty (40) years from the date of the bonds.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 4; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.13 (Williams, § 136.15); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-316.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-117. Debt reorganization — Bond format and additional terms.

  1. The governing body shall also by resolution determine the form of the bonds, the officers by whom they shall be executed and the place or places in Tennessee or in any other state at which the principal and interest shall be payable. In case any of the officers whose signatures or facsimile signatures appear on the bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officers before the delivery of such bonds, such signatures or facsimile signatures shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if they had remained in office until such delivery.
  2. The bonds may be made registrable as to principal alone, or as to both principal and interest, under such terms and conditions as may be determined by the governing body, and provisions may be made for the exchange of fully registered bonds for coupon bonds and of coupon bonds for fully registered bonds.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 4; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.13 (Williams, § 136.15); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-317.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-118. Debt reorganization — Terms of bond sale or exchange.

  1. The governing body may sell any or all of the bonds authorized under §§ 5-3-113 — 5-3-121 in such manner and for such price as it may determine to be for the best interests of the unit, but no such sale shall be made at a price so low as to require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than six percent (6%) per annum, computed with relation to the absolute maturity or the average maturity of the bonds, in accordance with standard tables of bond values.
  2. Any or all of the bonds authorized under  §§ 5-3-113 — 5-3-121 may be exchanged for the bonds to be refunded thereby, or the evidences of indebtedness to be funded thereby, including bonds not matured or redeemable, if the holders thereof be willing to surrender the same for retirement.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 5; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.14 (Williams, § 136.16); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-318.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-119. Debt reorganization — Bond retirement — Sinking fund.

  1. All bonds issued under §§ 5-3-113 — 5-3-121 shall be direct and general obligations of the unit issuing the same, for the payment of which the full faith and credit of the unit shall be irrevocably pledged.
    1. In each fiscal year while any funding or refunding bonds issued under §§ 5-3-113 — 5-3-121, shall be outstanding, there shall be levied upon all taxable property in the unit an ad valorem tax sufficient to pay the interest on the bonds as it falls due and the principal of such bonds that shall then have matured or that shall mature within the same fiscal year, and any sinking fund payments that may be provided for by the bonds or by the resolution authorizing the same, as well as all deficits in such interest, principal and sinking fund payments arising by failure to comply with  §§ 5-3-113 — 5-3-121 or by failure to collect the taxes levied or otherwise; provided, that the governing body, in its discretion, may levy in any fiscal year a tax sufficient to pay, in addition to the interest and principal that shall fall due in such fiscal year, any portion of the interest or principal that shall fall due in any succeeding fiscal year, and may also levy in any fiscal year a tax for sinking fund payments, in addition to the tax required for such payments by the resolution authorizing any of such bonds.
    2. The governing body may provide in the resolution authorizing the issuance of any such funding or refunding bonds, that any sinking fund provided for such bonds shall be used solely for the purchase or redemption of the bonds authorized by such resolution, and all bonds so purchased or redeemed shall be cancelled and shall not be reissued.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 6; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.15 (Williams, § 136.17); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-319.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-120. Debt reorganization — Bonds tax exempt.

No bonds issued under the authority of §§ 5-3-1135-3-121 shall be subject to taxation by this state or by any county or municipality thereof, and such bonds shall so state on the face thereof.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 7; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.16 (Williams, § 136.18); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-320.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-121. Debt reorganization — Payment of unfunded debt.

  1. Any floating indebtedness or bonded indebtedness of an absorbed county, not funded or refunded under §§ 5-3-113 — 5-3-121, shall be paid out of a tax levied against the property of the absorbed county.
  2. This tax levy shall be such proportion of the tax levy, levied by the absorbed county for bonds and interest during the past fiscal year, as the outstanding bonds of the absorbed county bears to the outstanding bonds of the absorbed county prior to consolidation.

Acts 1939, ch. 225, § 8; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.17 (Williams, § 136.19); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-321.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-122. State consolidation grants — Funding.

  1. The state funding board is authorized to issue at one (1) time or from time to time bonds of the state in an amount not to exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000).
  2. These bonds shall be issued under the authority of title 9, chapter 9, according to the conditions and limitations set forth in former § 9-9-208 [repealed].
  3. All bonds issued under the authority of §§ 5-3-122 — 5-3-125 shall be issued by the state funding board upon request of the state consolidation committee.
  4. These bonds, after issuance, shall constitute general obligations of the state for the payment of which its full faith and credit are hereby pledged and shall be further secured by the pledges of special revenue as provided for in title 9, chapter 9.
  5. Any and all bonds that may be sold by the state funding board pursuant to §§ 5-3-122 — 5-3-125 shall be sold in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as prescribed by former § 9-9-208 [repealed].

Acts 1939, ch. 226, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.18 (Williams, § 136.21); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-322.

Compiler's Notes. Section 9-9-208, referred to in this section, was repealed by Acts 1998, ch. 582, § 5, effective March 3, 1998.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-123. State consolidation grants — Issuance.

  1. The proceeds derived from the sale of bonds issued under the authority of §§ 5-3-122 — 5-3-125 shall be deposited in a special fund to be used by the state consolidation committee for use as described in subsection (b).
    1. Within sixty (60) days after an entire county has consolidated with any other county, according to law, the state consolidation committee shall make a grant out of the proceeds of state bonds as described in subsection (a), to both the absorbed county and the absorbing county.
    2. This grant shall be made, not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) each, both to the absorbing county and absorbed county.
    3. In the event that a portion of any county is absorbed by another county, the state consolidation committee shall make a grant, which shall be computed as follows: The amount of money to be granted for the portion of the absorbed county shall be that proportion of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) that the amount of the assessed valuation being absorbed bears to the total taxable valuation of the whole county, a portion of which is being absorbed.
    4. In the event that only a portion of a county is absorbed by another county, the state consolidation committee shall grant as much money to the absorbing county as is granted to the absorbed county.

Acts 1939, ch. 226, § 2; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.19 (Williams, § 136.22); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-323.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-124. State consolidation grants — Use and purpose.

Any money granted by the state consolidation committee to any county or counties shall be used by the counties in the payment of the outstanding indebtedness of the county receiving the grant, and this grant shall have as its purpose the equalization of the burden of bonded indebtedness between the counties being absorbed and absorbing.

Acts 1939, ch. 226, § 3; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.20 (Williams, § 136.23); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-324.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

5-3-125. State consolidation grants — Reimbursement.

  1. All state moneys now being distributed to both the absorbed and absorbing county or counties shall continue to be distributed to the absorbing county or counties after consolidation on a pro rata basis according to the plan of consolidation approved by the state consolidation committee, and it shall be the duty of the committee to see that sufficient moneys are retained monthly by the state out from the proceeds of the gas tax being distributed to the counties receiving any grants as described in this chapter, so as to permit the state to be reimbursed the principal amount of the grant made to the counties over a period of twenty (20) years.
  2. All money withheld by the state consolidation committee, from the proceeds of the gas tax being distributed to the counties, shall be deposited with the state funding board to be used for the payment of principal and interest on the state's bonded indebtedness.

Acts 1939, ch. 226, § 4; C. Supp. 1950, § 136.21 (Williams, § 136.24); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-325.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 6.

Chapter 4
Removal of County Seat

5-4-101. Vote required for removal.

Where an old county is reduced for the purpose of forming a new one, the seat of justice in the old county shall not be removed without the concurrence of two thirds (2/3) of both branches of the general assembly, nor shall the seat of justice of any county be removed without the concurrence of two thirds (2/3) of the qualified voters of the county.

Const. 1870, art. 10, § 4; Shan., § 112; Code 1932, § 131; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-401.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties to include total registered voters, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Constitutional provisions, Tenn. Const., art. X, § 4.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 10.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Unconstitutional Legislation.

Under Tenn. Const., art. X, § 4, it is required that two-thirds of all the qualified voters of the county must affirmatively express their concurrence in the removal of the county seat and legislation specifying other basis is unconstitutional to that extent. Bouldin v. Lockhart, 62 Tenn. 262, 1873 Tenn. LEXIS 187 (1873); Combs v. Stumple, 79 Tenn. 26, 1883 Tenn. LEXIS 8 (1883); Lindsay v. Allen, 112 Tenn. 637, 82 S.W. 171, 1904 Tenn. LEXIS 61 (1904).

An act that provides that if it is ascertained that the people desire the removal by a concurrence of two-thirds of the qualified voters of the county, then that an election be held to ascertain the location for the county seat and that the place receiving the majority vote shall be the location, is unconstitutional. The removal and location must concur in one election, and the chancery court, at the instance of citizens and taxpayers of the county, will enjoin the holding of a popular election to ascertain the location, and further proceedings, after the election has been held and so carried. Combs v. Stumple, 79 Tenn. 26, 1883 Tenn. LEXIS 8 (1883).

2. —Injunction.

When the general assembly attempts to permit removal without the required vote, citizens and taxpayers of the county may restrain the removal. Stuart v. Bair, 67 Tenn. 141, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 340 (1874); Lindsay v. Allen, 112 Tenn. 637, 82 S.W. 171, 1904 Tenn. LEXIS 61 (1904).

When an actual removal of the county seat has been unconstitutionally effected, it cannot be ordered returned, but, at the instance of citizens and taxpayers of the county, the chancery court will declare the order of removal void, and enjoin the commissioners from further proceedings to erect the new county seat, and the county legislative body from levying taxes or incurring further expense for this purpose. Bouldin v. Lockhart, 69 Tenn. 195, 1878 Tenn. LEXIS 66 (1878); Braden v. Stumph, 84 Tenn. 581, 1886 Tenn. LEXIS 146 (1886).

3. Removal Defined.

Removal applies to a transfer of the seat of county government from the established county seat town to some other city or town in the county and not a change of the site of the courthouse from one part of the county seat town to another part of the same town. Lawson v. Ray, 549 S.W.2d 373, 1977 Tenn. LEXIS 597 (Tenn. 1977).

5-4-102. Order of election.

The county legislative body may at any regular meeting, a majority of the members concurring, order an election to ascertain if the people desire the county seat to be removed.

Acts 1881, ch. 98, §§ 1, 2; Shan., § 114; mod. Code 1932, § 132; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 12, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-402.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 10.

5-4-103. Balloting procedure.

Each voter shall put on such voter's ballot the name of the place to which such voter desires the county seat removed or mark the words “no removal.”

Acts 1873, ch. 103, § 5; impl. am. Acts 1907, ch. 436; Shan., § 117; Code 1932, § 135; Acts 1972, ch. 740, § 4(3); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-405.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 10.

5-4-104. Counting of votes — Removal.

  1. The county election commission shall make its return to the county mayor, and at the next regular meeting of the county legislative body after the election, the vote shall be counted and the result declared.
  2. If the proposition to remove the county seat received the requisite number of votes, then the county legislative body shall proceed to make all necessary provisions for the removal.

Acts 1873, ch. 103, § 7; impl. am. Acts 1907, ch. 436; Shan., § 118; Code 1932, § 136; impl. am. Acts 1972, ch. 740, § 7; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 12, 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-406; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 10.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Impeaching Declaration.

When the order of the county legislative body declaring the result on its face shows that an arbitrary, and not the constitutional, test was applied, the order will be declared void. Bouldin v. Lockhart, 69 Tenn. 195, 1878 Tenn. LEXIS 66 (1878).

When the order declared that a certain number of votes was cast for the removal, this number was more than two-thirds of the qualified voters and two-thirds of the qualified voters concurred in the removal, the order and declaration were not conclusive, but could be impeached by proof aliunde, and reviewed by the chancery court. Braden v. Stumph, 84 Tenn. 581, 1886 Tenn. LEXIS 146 (1886).

5-4-105. Sale of old courthouse.

When a county seat is removed, the members of the county legislative body shall order a sale of the old courthouse and ground belonging to it, upon such terms as they think most for the interest of the county, and shall apply the proceeds of the sale to the payment for a new courthouse.

Code 1858, § 418 (deriv. Acts 1837-1838, ch. 11, § 2); Shan., § 510; Code 1932, § 762; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-407.

Cross-References. Relocation or replacement of courthouse or jail, § 5-7-111.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 10.

Chapter 5
County Legislative Bodies

Part 1
Substantive Provisions

5-5-101. Basic legislative unit — Name changes.

  1. The county legislative body is established as a basic legislative unit of each county of this state; provided, that this subsection (a) shall not apply to counties that have already adopted the metropolitan form of government.
  2. Effective September 1, 1978, except in any county organized under the consolidated government provisions of the Constitution of Tennessee, article XI, § 9, the quarterly county court, county council and any other forms of county legislative bodies are abolished and all legislative powers that remained with such court, council and other forms of legislative bodies are hereby vested in the county legislative body. The county legislative body is further vested with all legislative powers and duties vested in justices of the peace prior to May 11, 1978.
  3. References to the quarterly county court, county council or other county legislative body appearing elsewhere in this code shall be deemed references to the county legislative body.
  4. References to the magistrates, justices of the peace, members or membership of such court, council or body appearing elsewhere in this code shall be deemed references to the members of the county legislative body.

Code 1858, §§ 4179, 4180, 4186 (deriv. Acts 1794, ch. 1, § 44; 1835-1836, ch. 6, § 1; 1837-1838, ch. 135, § 1); Acts 1875, ch. 70, §§ 1-3; integrated in Shan., § 5992; Code 1932, § 10193; Acts 1967, ch. 235, § 1; T.C.A. § 5-528; Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 9; 1979, ch. 69, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-501.

Cross-References. County government, Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 1.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 11.

Law Reviews.

General Sessions Courts: Origin and Recent Legislation (Paul M. Bryan and Isadore B. Baer), 24 Tenn. L. Rev. 667 (1957).

Attorney General Opinions. County commission meetings:  quorum and majority vote requirements; requirements as to particular type of space or facility for meetings.  OAG  12-109, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 113 (12/14/12).

Where county commission has hired an employee in the valid exercise of its authority, a county mayor may not unilaterally terminate that employee unless expressly authorized.  Nor may a county mayor defund or abolish an entire county department without the approval of the county commission.  OAG 14-28, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (3/7/14).

Members of a county legislative body can establish partisan caucuses for the purpose of outlining and meeting party objectives and goals but meetings of a partisan caucus of a county legislative body may be subject to the Open Meetings Act. OAG 14-96, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 99 (10/30/14).

Collateral References.

Liability of municipality or other governmental unit for failure to provide police protection. 90 A.L.R.5th 273.

5-5-102. Membership.

    1. The county legislative body shall be composed of not less than nine (9) nor more than twenty-five (25) members.
    2. There shall be at least nine (9) districts in the county legislative body in any county designated as a Class 2 county before January 1, 1999, as established by § 8-24-101.
  1. Members shall reside within and be qualified voters of the districts that they represent.
    1. Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, any county employee, otherwise qualified to serve as a member of the county legislative body, shall not be disqualified from such legislative office by reason of being a county employee.
    2. No person elected or appointed to fill the office of county mayor, sheriff, trustee, register, county clerk, assessor of property, or any other county-wide office filled by vote of the people or the county legislative body, shall also be nominated for or elected to membership in the county legislative body. After June 18, 2005, a director of schools shall not be qualified to serve as a member of the county legislative body.
    3. [Deleted by 2016 amendment.]
  2. No more than three (3) members shall be elected from any one (1) district.
    1. Members shall serve terms of four (4) years or until their successors are elected and qualified.
    2. Members of the county legislative body shall be elected in the regular August election in 1978 and every four (4) years thereafter.
  3. The members of the county legislative body shall be known individually as county commissioners and collectively as the board of county commissioners.
  4. The term of office for members of the county legislative body shall begin on September 1 next succeeding their election.
    1. The county legislative body shall have discretionary authority to determine whether each office in multi-member districts will be separately designated on the ballot, with candidates required to run and to be elected on the basis of such separately designated offices within the district.
    2. No candidate shall qualify for more than one (1) such separately designated office within a multi-member district.
    3. In any county designated as a Class 2 county before January 1, 1999, as established by § 8-24-101, each office in multi-member districts shall be separately designated on the ballot, and candidates shall run and be elected on the basis of such separately designated offices within the district.
  5. If a vacancy shall occur in the office of a member of the county legislative body, the vacancy shall be filled as provided for in § 5-1-104(b).

Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 8, 10; 1979, ch. 175, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-502; Acts 1980, ch. 658, § 1; 1980, ch. 785, § 1; 1981, ch. 143, § 1; 1981, ch. 219, § 1; 1981, ch. 293, § 1; 1981, ch. 318, § 2; 1986, ch. 765, §§ 1-3; 2001, ch. 86, §§ 1, 2; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2005, ch. 471, § 1; 2008, ch. 871, § 2; 2016, ch. 1072, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 2005, ch. 471, § 2 provided that nothing in that act shall be construed as having the effect of removing any incumbent from office or abridging the term of any official prior to the end of the term for which such official was elected.

Acts 2005, ch. 471, § 3 provided that the provisions of that act shall not apply to any person who is, on June 18, 2005, serving as both a director of schools and a member of the county legislative body.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment deleted former (c)(3) which read: “(3)(A) Any member of a local governing body of a county or a municipality who is also an employee of such county or municipality may vote on matters in which such member has a conflict of interest if the member informs the governing body immediately prior to the vote as follows:“Because I am an employee of (name of governmental unit), I have a conflict of interest in the proposal about to be voted. However, I declare that my argument and my vote answer only to my conscience and to my obligation to my constituents and the citizens this body represents.“(B) In the event a member of a local governing body of a county or a municipality has a conflict of interest in a matter to be voted upon by the body, such member may abstain for cause by announcing such to the presiding officer. Any member of a local governing body of a county or municipality who abstains from voting for cause on any issue coming to a vote before the body shall not be counted for the purpose of determining a majority vote.“(C) The vote of any person having a conflict of interest who does not inform the governing body of such conflict as provided in subdivision (c)(3)(A) shall be void if challenged in a timely manner. As used in this section, “timely manner” means during the same meeting at which the vote was cast and prior to the transaction of any further business by the body.“(D) Nothing in this subdivision (c)(3) shall be construed as altering, amending or otherwise affecting § 12-4-101(a). In the event of any conflict between this subdivision (c)(3) and § 12-4-101(a), § 12-4-101(a) shall prevail.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 1072, § 6. May 20, 2016.

Cross-References. Composition of county legislative body, Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 1.

Filling of vacancies in county offices, Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 2.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 11.

Attorney General Opinions. County or school board employee serving on county legislative body, OAG 98-0112, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 112 (6/16/98).

Service as director of schools and county commission member in same county, OAG 99-195, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 203 (9/28/99).

Members of a county legislative body should be deemed “public officers” of the county, rather than mere “employees” of the county, OAG 00-153, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 155 (10/9/00).

A county commission may impose a limit on the number of one-year terms a member may serve as chair, OAG 00-174, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 177 (11/20/00).

A county commissioner can be an employee of the county highway commission, so long as the commissioner observes the voting rules set out in T.C.A. § 12-4-101(c), OAG 01-084, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 75 (5/23/01).

A county commissioner is probably not prohibited from also being a member of the county highway commission because that office is not elected by a county-wide vote, OAG 01-084, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 75 (5/23/01).

A person can simultaneously be a state employee, a member of the Democratic Party Executive Board, and a member of the school board, OAG 01-144, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 151 (9/4/01).

Filling of vacancies in county offices, OAG 07-022, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 22 (2/27/07).

Constitutionality of private act requiring nonpartisan elections for county mayor and members of the county legislative body, OAG 08-191, 2008 Tenn. AG LEXIS 236 (12/29/08).

Conflict of interest of county commissioner also employed or formerly employed by a county department.  OAG 11-50, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 52 (6/16/11).

Ability of county commissioner to serve as clerk and master for the chancery court in the same county; ability to also engage in private practice of law.  OAG 14-23, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 24 (2/26/14).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

Where the general assembly has made a permanent, general provision, applicable in nearly 90 of the counties, giving the local legislative bodies discretion as to the method of election of their members, it could not properly make different provisions for two of the counties, by population bracket; such legislation is not authorized by either Tenn. Const., art. VII or art. XI, § 9. Leech v. Wayne County, 588 S.W.2d 270, 1979 Tenn. LEXIS 516 (Tenn. 1979) (declaring unconstitutional former portions of this section).

When properly construed there is no conflict between this statute's provisions for filling vacancies and Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 1. Both the constitutional provision and the statute provide for the vacancy to be filled by the legislative body. Marion County Bd. of Comm'rs v. Marion County Election Com., 594 S.W.2d 681, 1980 Tenn. LEXIS 407 (Tenn. 1980).

2. Legislative Purpose.

The overriding legislative purpose was to provide a mechanism for the selection of successor county commissioners designed, on the one hand, to ensure that the people had continuing representation, and on the other, to give maximum opportunity for the public to exercise its choice. Hence, the remaining members of the legislative body name a temporary successor and the people fill the vacancy on the date of a primary or the date of a referendum election. Marion County Bd. of Comm'rs v. Marion County Election Com., 594 S.W.2d 681, 1980 Tenn. LEXIS 407 (Tenn. 1980).

3. Term of Office.

It is implicit in this provision that those selected at a special election will serve only until the next regular election. Marion County Bd. of Comm'rs v. Marion County Election Com., 594 S.W.2d 681, 1980 Tenn. LEXIS 407 (Tenn. 1980).

4. Election from County at Large.

A county reapportionment plan providing for election from the county at large was unconstitutional. State ex rel. Jones v. Washington County, 514 S.W.2d 51, 1973 Tenn. App. LEXIS 258 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1973), aff'd, 514 S.W.2d 57, 1974 Tenn. LEXIS 453 (Tenn. 1974).

5. Residence in District.

Residence in the district from which elected is required in order to remain in office and upon changing residence to a place outside the district the office becomes vacated. Bailey v. Greer, 63 Tenn. App. 13, 468 S.W.2d 327, 1971 Tenn. App. LEXIS 210 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1971).

The question of whether a member of the county legislative body has removed from the district from which elected is a question of fact. Bailey v. Greer, 63 Tenn. App. 13, 468 S.W.2d 327, 1971 Tenn. App. LEXIS 210 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1971).

6. Nomination of Commissioner for Office.

This section permits county legislative bodies to nominate one of their own members for a vacancy in office, but prevents the nominee from voting for himself by divesting him of his commission seat upon his acceptance of the nomination. Jackson v. Hensley, 715 S.W.2d 605, 1986 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2925 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986).

7. Appointments to Office.

T.C.A. § 5-5-102 overrules   State v. Thompson, 193 Tenn. 395, 246 S.W.2d 59, 1952 Tenn. LEXIS 305 (1952), which held: “it is contrary to public policy to permit an officer having an appointing power to use such power as a means of conferring an office upon himself, or to permit an appointing body to appoint one of its own members.” Jackson v. Hensley, 715 S.W.2d 605, 1986 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2925 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986).

Determination whether deputy appointed interim successor under § 8-48-111 or trustee subsequently elected by county commission is entitled to serve as trustee is to be determined in a quo warranto proceeding rather than by a declaratory judgment proceeding. Jackson v. Hensley, 715 S.W.2d 605, 1986 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2925 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1986).

5-5-103. Officers.

  1. In counties electing a county mayor as provided in § 5-6-102(1) and (2), there shall be a chair and chair pro tempore.
    1. The legislative body, at its first session on or after September 1 of each year, shall elect from its membership a chair and a chair pro tempore; provided, that the county legislative body may elect the county mayor to be its chair; provided further, that such election shall confer no additional powers or authority to the chair so elected other than as presiding officer that are not otherwise provided by law.
    2. If any county commission elects as its chair the county mayor, and such county mayor accepts the position of chair of the county commission, then the county mayor shall relinquish the county mayor's veto power, as provided in § 5-6-107, for so long as the county mayor remains chair of the county commission.
    3. In counties having a population of not less than eight thousand four hundred (8,400) nor more than eight thousand five hundred (8,500), according to the 1970 or any subsequent federal census, having a county administrator who was empowered by private act prior to September 1, 1978, to preside over the county legislative body, such county administrator shall continue to preside as chair, notwithstanding this chapter and chapter 6 of this title, nor shall the county administrator have the power of veto over legislation passed by the county legislative body, this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title notwithstanding.
    4. This subsection (b) does not apply to:
      1. Counties with a population between two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) and three hundred thousand (300,000);
      2. Any county having a population of not less than two hundred seventy-six thousand (276,000) nor more than two hundred seventy-seven thousand (277,000), according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census; or
      3. Counties with a population in excess of six hundred thousand (600,000) by the 1970 federal census.
  2. The chair of the legislative body shall preside over the sessions of the legislative body.
  3. When the regular chair is unable or fails to attend the meetings of the legislative body, the regular chair shall notify the chair pro tempore, and the chair pro tempore shall attend, discharge the duties of the office, and be vested with all the powers of the regular chair while engaged therein.
  4. The compensation of the chair and chair pro tempore shall be fixed by the legislative body, but such compensation, if fixed on a per diem basis, shall not be less than the amount fixed for the members of the legislative body; provided further, that the compensation of the chair pro tempore shall not exceed the compensation allowed the chair for like services.
  5. In the absence of the chair and the regular chair pro tempore, the county legislative body may appoint, temporarily, a chair pro tempore to preside over the meeting who is vested with all the powers, for this purpose and for the time being, of the regular chair, or regular chair pro tempore.
  6. In the event the county mayor is absent or intends to be absent for more than twenty-one (21) days, or is incapacitated or otherwise unable to perform the duties of the county mayor's office, the county legislative body shall appoint the chair to serve until the absence or disability is removed. Any contest of disability or its removal shall be adjudicated in the chancery court of such county. While the chair is serving as county mayor, the chair pro tempore shall preside over sessions of the legislative body.
  7. The chair of the county legislative body may designate, from time to time, another member of the county legislative body to sit in the chair's place on any board, authority or commission that the chair serves upon by virtue of holding the office of chair of the county legislative body. Any such designee shall have such powers, including the power to vote, as are otherwise conferred upon the chair of the county legislative body when serving upon such board, authority or commission. At any such meeting attended by the chair of the county legislative body, only the chair of the county legislative body shall exercise voting power.
    1. If the office of the county mayor should become vacant pursuant to § 8-48-101, the chair, or if the county mayor served as the chair, the chair pro tempore shall serve as interim county mayor until the vacancy is filled pursuant to § 5-1-104. The interim county mayor shall have the same powers, duties and bond as provided by chapter 6 of this title.
    2. This subsection (i) shall not apply if the method of filling the vacancy in the office of the county mayor is established by a metropolitan charter or a private act.

Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 11; 1979, ch. 54, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-503; Acts 1981, ch. 384, §§ 1-3; 1985, ch. 163, § 1; 1996, ch. 831, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. A county commission may impose a limit on the number of one-year terms a member may serve as chair, OAG 00-174, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 177 (11/20/00).

Status of interim county mayor as member of county commission.  OAG 11-2, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 2 (1/7/11).

Lewis County highway advisory commission.  OAG 12-74, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 79 (7/19/12).

5-5-104. Regular meetings.

  1. Regular meetings of each county legislative body shall be held at the time, day and place set by resolution of each legislative body.
  2. There shall be at least four (4) regular meetings of the county legislative body each year.
  3. Special meetings of the county legislative body may be called by the county mayor or by petition of a majority of the members of the county legislative body in accordance with § 5-5-105.
  4. No business shall be transacted, or any appointment made, or nominations confirmed, except in public session.
  5. This section shall not apply to any Class 1 county established by § 8-24-101, that has by private act adopted regular meetings of its legislative body and procedures for calling special meetings of such body.

Code 1858, § 4181 (deriv. Acts 1837-1838, ch. 135, § 1); Shan., § 5993; mod. Code 1932, § 10194; Acts 1951, ch. 266, § 1; 1965, ch. 50, § 1; 1967, ch. 91, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-502; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 12; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-504; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 11.

Attorney General Opinions. County commission meetings:  quorum and majority vote requirements; requirements as to particular type of space or facility for meetings.  OAG  12-109, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 113 (12/14/12).

5-5-105. Special meetings.

    1. The county mayor has the power to convene the legislative body in special session when, in the county mayor's opinion, the public necessities require it.
    2. Upon written application to the chair of the legislative body by the county mayor or by a majority of the members of such body, then in that instance, it shall be mandatory for the chair to call a special session of such body.
    3. The convening date of such body shall not be more than fifteen (15) days nor less than forty-eight (48) hours from the time of the filing of such application with the chair.
    4. This subsection (a) shall not apply to counties of Class 1 as established by § 8-24-101.
    1. The county mayor shall be authorized to call a special session of the county legislative body for emergency purposes only by publication in a newspaper published in the county, and by personal notification to the members of the county legislative body at least two (2) days before the time of the convening of the county legislative body, in any county that authorizes its county mayor to act in accordance with this subsection (b), by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body.
    2. The call or notice shall specify the objects and purposes for which such special session is called, and no other business but that embraced in such call shall be transacted during such special session.
    3. This subsection (b) shall apply only to any county having a population not less than two hundred eighty-seven thousand seven hundred (287,700) and not greater than two hundred eighty-seven thousand eight hundred (287,800), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent census.
    1. The call shall be made by publication in some newspaper published in the county, or by personal notices sent by the county clerk, at least five (5) days before the time of the convening of the county legislative body, which call or notice shall specify the objects and purposes for which the special session is called, and no other business but that embraced in the call shall be transacted during the sitting of the special term.
    2. In the event no newspaper is published in the county, the notice shall be by personal service upon all the members of the county legislative body, such service to contain the purpose for which the body is convened, and to be at least five (5) days before the time for convening.

Acts 1889, ch. 257, § 1-3; Shan., §§ 5997-5999; Code 1932, §§ 10195-10197; Acts 1957, ch. 16, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 5-503, 5-504; Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 13, 15; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; Acts 1979, ch. 11, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-505; Acts 1983, ch. 241, §§ 1-3; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 19 Tenn. Juris., Municipal, State and County Securities, § 10.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Scope of Business at Special Session.

Business transacted by county legislative body at called session must be limited to that specified and embraced in the call. McDaniel v. Monroe County, 10 Tenn. App. 109, — S.W.2d —, 1929 Tenn. App. LEXIS 11 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1929).

Where “call” for special meeting of county legislative body stated that it was for purpose of raising the tax rate for the county, an order made to employ attorneys in a suit arising out of the tax levy was void as not being embraced in the “call,” and the attorneys could not collect on such order. McDaniel v. Monroe County, 10 Tenn. App. 109, — S.W.2d —, 1929 Tenn. App. LEXIS 11 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1929).

2. Election of Highway Commissioner.

At a special session properly called, a highway commissioner may be elected to succeed one holding over. State ex rel. Kempson v. Moore, 167 Tenn. 170, 67 S.W.2d 151, 1933 Tenn. LEXIS 23 (1934).

3. Issuance of Bonds.

At a properly called special session the county legislative body may authorize the issuance of bonds. Walmsley v. Franklin County, 133 Tenn. 579, 182 S.W. 599, 1915 Tenn. LEXIS 121 (1916).

4. Adequacy of notice.

T.C.A. § 5-5-105 did not prohibit a single notice of a public hearing and special meeting of the county board of commissioners on the same subject matter. Tucker v. Humphreys County, 944 S.W.2d 613, 1996 Tenn. App. LEXIS 734 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996), overruled, Tenn. Waste Movers, Inc. v. Loudon County, 160 S.W.3d 517, 2005 Tenn. LEXIS 223 (Tenn. 2005), overruled, Brundage v. Cumberland County, 357 S.W.3d 361, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 1153 (Tenn. Dec. 19, 2011).

5-5-106. Attendance at meetings.

Every member of the county legislative body shall be required to attend each and every session of the body, and allowed to vote and draw pay for attendance.

Acts 1887, ch. 236, § 1; Shan., § 6000; Code 1932, § 10198; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-506.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Combination to Prevent Quorum — Ouster.

In addition to the provision of this section, requiring members of the county legislative body to attend the sessions, the very nature of their duties, voluntarily assumed upon entering office, made it obligatory upon them to refrain from combining in a faction with the declared purpose of obstructing the business of the county; and for such obstruction, they were subject to ouster. State ex rel. Thompson v. Read, 152 Tenn. 442, 278 S.W. 71, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 88 (1925).

5-5-107. Compensation of members.

  1. The several county legislative bodies are authorized to fix the compensation of their membership in attending sessions of the county legislative body and duly authorized committees thereof.
    1. The counties are hereby classified in accordance with § 8-24-101, and the compensation fixed by the county legislative body for attending sessions of the body shall in no case be less than the applicable amount as follows:

      Counties of the third class  $35/day

      Counties of the fourth class  $30/day

      Counties of the fifth class  $25/day

      Counties of the sixth class  $20/day

      Counties of the seventh class  $20/day

      Counties of the eighth class  $20/day

    2. Upon adoption of a resolution by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of its membership, the county legislative body of any county having a population of not less than two hundred eighty-five thousand (285,000) nor more than two hundred eighty-six thousand (286,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, shall fix the salary of the members of the county legislative body by June 30, 1999, to become effective July 1, 1999. On July 1, 2000, and each July 1 thereafter, the compensation for members of the county legislative body shall be adjusted to reflect the same percentage increase the county mayor of such county is to receive.
  2. A county may adopt a resolution to pay members of the legislative body:
    1. An amount greater than the minimum daily compensation for attendance at meetings of the body as provided in subdivision (b)(1), or at committee meetings for which the member is an appointed member;
    2. A base salary; or
    3. A base salary and an amount greater than or equal to the minimum daily compensation for attendance at meetings of the body as provided in subdivision (b)(1), or at committee meetings for which the member is an appointed member. Notwithstanding subsection (d), a county opting to pay members under this subdivision (c)(3) may set the compensation rate for attendance at committee meetings of the legislative body.
  3. The compensation fixed by the county legislative body for attending duly authorized committee meetings of such body shall be one half (½) of the compensation paid for attending regular sessions of the body.
  4. Any increase in compensation for members of the county legislative body does not take effect until the beginning of the term following the next election of county commissioners after the resolution increasing the compensation is adopted.

Acts 1974, ch. 736, § 1; 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A., § 5-507; Acts 1980, ch. 687, § 1; 1990, ch. 1001, § 1; 1991, ch. 422, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 121, § 1; 1999, ch. 174, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2020, ch. 536, §§ 1, 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment rewrote (c), which read: “The amount provided in this section, or a greater amount provided by resolution duly adopted by the county legislative body, shall be paid to the members for each day's attendance at meetings of the body or any duly authorized committee thereof, or a greater amount provided by resolution duly adopted by the county legislative body as a stated salary per month.”; and added (e).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 536, § 3. March 19, 2020.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 11.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — The County Court, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 419 (1978).

Attorney General Opinions. A county legislative body has the option of compensating its members either in the form of a so-called “per diem” payment for each day's attendance at regular and committee meetings or in the form of a stated salary per month, OAG 00-153, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 155 (10/9/00).

County commission may raise or lower the compensation of its members during the present term, as long as they maintain the statutory minimum and are not covered by the population restrictions of subdivision (b)(2) of this section, OAG 04-015, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 15 (2/05/04).

Member of a county legislative body may not accept an amount less than that set by the majority of the body, OAG 04-015, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 15 (2/05/04).

This section authorizes only uniform compensation for all members, OAG 05-004, 2005 Tenn. AG LEXIS 4 (1/05/05).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

This section does not violate Tenn. Const., art. I, § 8 because of vagueness or indefiniteness merely because the general assembly decided not to fix a maximum compensation as well as a minimum. State ex rel. Brown v. Bates, 553 S.W.2d 746, 1977 Tenn. LEXIS 590 (Tenn. 1977).

2. Shelby County.

T.C.A. § 5-5-107 authorizes the Shelby County legislative body to fix its compensation without any restriction on amount or effective date, and this authority should be read into the transition section of the charter of the newly adopted mayor-county commissioner form of government. Cobb v. Shelby County Bd. of Comm'rs, 771 S.W.2d 124, 1989 Tenn. LEXIS 146 (Tenn. 1989).

5-5-108. Quorum.

A majority of the members of the county legislative body of each county shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business by the bodies in regular or special sessions.

Acts 1887, ch. 236, § 2; Shan., § 6001; Code 1932, § 10199; Acts 1935, ch. 10, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 10199; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-508.

Attorney General Opinions. County commission meetings:  quorum and majority vote requirements; requirements as to particular type of space or facility for meetings.  OAG  12-109, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 113 (12/14/12).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Record Showing Quorum.

Where record of a session at which a tax was levied showed that a specified number of members of the county legislative body were acting, who, by reference to official records of which the court could take judicial notice, could be ascertained to constitute a quorum, there was sufficient evidence that the requisite proportion acted in levying the tax. Central Trust Co. v. Ashville Land Co., 72 F. 361, 1896 U.S. App. LEXIS 1712 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1896).

5-5-109. Voting.

  1. A majority of all the members constituting the county legislative body, and not merely a majority of the quorum, shall be required to:
    1. Elect county officials required by law to be elected by the body;
    2. Fix salaries;
    3. Appropriate money; and
    4. Transact all other business coming before the county legislative body in regular or special sessions.
    1. If the members of the county legislative body are equally divided upon any question coming before them upon which they may lawfully act, then and only then, a county mayor serving as chair may cast a deciding vote.
    2. If the person serving as chair of the county legislative body is a regular member of the county legislative body, such person may not break a tie vote in the capacity of chair, but may cast a vote in the first instance as a regular member of the body.

Code 1858, § 4190 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 6, § 2); Acts 1875, ch. 63, § 2; integrated in Shan., § 6019; Code 1932, § 10218; Acts 1935, ch. 10, § 2; C. Supp. 1950, § 10218; Acts 1973, ch. 26, §§ 1, 2; 1978, ch. 934, § 15; modified; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-509; Acts 1983, ch. 138, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 11.

Law Reviews.

Selected Tennessee Legislation of 1983 (N. L. Resener, J. A. Whitson, K. J. Miller), 50 Tenn. L. Rev. 785 (1983).

Attorney General Opinions. T.C.A. § 5-5-109, which provides methods for presenting business to a county legislative body, T.C.A. § 5-5-110, does not conflict with which requires a majority vote of all members of the county legislative body to transact business, OAG 03-001, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 1 (1/03/03).

5-5-110. Business presented by chair.

  1. All business for the action of the county legislative body shall be presented to the chair, who shall announce the same to the county legislative body and take the vote thereon.
  2. No business shall be acted on by the body unless presented as required in subsection (a), except by the consent of a majority of the members present.

Code 1858, § 4188 (deriv. Acts 1847-1848, ch. 106, § 1); Shan., § 6012; Code 1932, § 10211; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-510.

Attorney General Opinions. T.C.A. § 5-5-110, which provides methods for presenting business to a county legislative body, does not conflict with T.C.A. § 5-5-109, which requires a majority vote of all members of the county legislative body to transact business, OAG 03-001, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 1 (1/03/03).

5-5-111. Filling vacancies — Notice to legislative body — Notice to public — Nominations — Appointment by vote of legislative body — Challenge of appointment — Deadline — Applicability of provisions.

    1. Whenever an office is required to be filled, or a vacancy occurs in any office required to be filled, by the county legislative body, the county clerk shall provide notice to every member of the county legislative body of the need to fill the office or vacancy. If the office of county clerk is vacant, the notice shall be provided by the county clerk's deputy. If, in addition, there is no deputy county clerk, notice shall be provided by the acting chair of the county legislative body. In accordance with § 8-48-108, the formal notice to members required by this subdivision (a)(1) is directory and may be waived by the members of the county legislative body if all members have constructive notice of the vacancy or opening through other sources of information.
    2. In addition to the notice provided for in subdivision (a)(1), the presiding officer of the county legislative body shall cause public notice to be given in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting of the body at which the office is to be filled, notifying the public of the vacancy or opening and specifying the office or offices to be filled at the meeting.
  1. Before the county legislative body votes or considers any motion or resolution regarding the office to be filled, the chair shall allow registered voters of the county an opportunity to submit names to the county legislative body for consideration. The names may be submitted in writing to the chair prior to the meeting or may be submitted in person at the meeting. In order for a name to be considered, a member of the county legislative body must subsequently nominate the person. Members of the county legislative body may also nominate a candidate or candidates to fill the office or vacancy without the name being submitted by a voter. Nominations do not require a second. If the person nominated is not present at the meeting, the person making the nomination shall submit a signed statement from the nominee that the nominee is willing to serve in the office if appointed.
  2. Should a member of the county legislative body accept a nomination for an office or vacancy that is required by the Constitution of Tennessee to be filled by the county legislative body, the member shall be prohibited from voting on the appointment or any motions or resolutions relative to making the appointment until the office or vacancy is filled. For the purposes of determining a majority, the membership of the county legislative body shall be reduced to reflect any member or members prohibited from voting on the appointment. If a member of the county legislative body is subsequently appointed to fill the office or vacancy, the member shall immediately resign from the county legislative body upon accepting the appointment. If the member does not receive the appointment, the member shall not be required to resign and may continue the member's duties on the county legislative body upon the conclusion of the vote on the appointment.
  3. After nominations cease, the county legislative body may discuss the nominations and may, at the discretion of the chair, interview nominees or allow nominees the opportunity to address the county legislative body. Upon motion passed by the majority of the members, the vote to make the appointment may be postponed to a subsequent meeting; provided, that adequate public notice of the meeting is given in accordance with title 8, chapter 44.
  4. To receive an appointment, a nominee must receive the votes of a majority of the members of the county legislative body eligible to vote on the appointment. The county legislative body shall adopt rules of procedure for eliminating nominees in cases where there are multiple nominees for an appointment and no nominee receives a majority of the votes after the initial vote. No secret balloting shall be permitted. Each member's vote regarding the appointment process shall be recorded by the clerk and entered on the minutes of the county legislative body. A tie vote of the county legislative body regarding an appointment may be broken in the same manner that other tie votes of the body may be broken.
  5. Any complaint challenging the legality of an appointment made by the county legislative body shall be filed with the chancery court of the county within ten (10) days of the date of the appointment.
  6. When filling a vacancy in offices required to be filled by the county legislative body, the county legislative body shall fill the vacancy in accordance with the deadline provided in § 5-1-104.
    1. This section shall not apply to any county that has a metropolitan form of government and a population in excess of five hundred thousand (500,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
    2. This section shall not apply to any county having a population of not less than eight hundred ninety-seven thousand four hundred (897,400) nor more than eight hundred ninety-seven thousand five hundred (897,500), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Code 1858, § 817; Shan., § 1144; mod. Code 1932, § 1904; modified; Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 15, 24; 1979, ch. 16, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-512; Acts 2008, ch. 871, § 3; 2009, ch. 14, §§ 1, 2.

Compiler's Notes.  For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2009, ch. 14, § 3 provided that the amendments to § 5-5-111(b) and (c) and Acts 2008, ch. 871, which rewrote § 5-5-111, shall not be interpreted to require a member of a county legislative body to resign from the county legislative body after accepting an appointment if the member could have legally accepted the appointment prior to May 6, 2008, without resigning. Any action taken by any board, commission or committee on or after May 6, 2008, shall not be invalidated due to any other interpretation of Acts 2008, ch. 871.

Cross-References. Filling of vacancies in county offices, Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 2.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 2 Tenn. Juris., Appeal and Error, § 232; 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 13.

Attorney General Opinions. Status of interim county mayor as member of county commission.  OAG 11-2, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 2 (1/7/11).

County commission meetings:  quorum and majority vote requirements; requirements as to particular type of space or facility for meetings.  OAG  12-109, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 113 (12/14/12).

5-5-112. Voting prohibited if conflict of interest — Opting out of section by resolution.

  1. No member of the legislative body of a county who is also an employee of the same county or whose spouse is an employee of the same county may vote on matters in which such member has a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is created under this section when a member is voting on a matter which, if approved by the legislative body, would increase the pay or benefits of that member or that member's spouse. The vote of any member having a conflict of interest shall be void if challenged in a timely manner. As used in this subsection (a), “timely manner” means during the same meeting at which the vote was cast and prior to the transaction of any further business by the body.
  2. Subsection (a) shall not prohibit a member of a local governing body of a county from voting on the budget, appropriation resolution, or tax rate resolution, or amendments thereto, unless the vote is on a specific amendment to the budget or a specific appropriation or resolution in which the member has a conflict of interest.
  3. Any member of a local governing body of a county who abstains from voting for cause on any issue coming to a vote before the body shall not be counted for the purpose of determining a majority vote. This subsection (c) shall not apply to any county having a metropolitan form of government and having a population in excess of five hundred thousand (500,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
  4. Nothing in this section alters, amends, or otherwise affects § 12-4-101(a). In the event of any conflict between this section and § 12-4-101(a), § 12-4-101(a) shall prevail.
  5. The legislative body of any metropolitan form of government or charter form of government may opt out of this section by resolution.

Acts 2016, ch. 1072, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-5-112 (Code 1858, § 4194 (deriv. Acts 1841-1842, ch. 101, §§ 1, 2); Shan., § 6014; Code 1932, § 10213; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-514), concerning the timing of elections for county officers, was repealed by Acts 2008, ch. 871, § 4, effective May 6, 2008.

For U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 1072, § 6. May 20, 2016.

5-5-113. Required orientation training for members of county legislative bodies.

  1. Each member of a county legislative body shall:
    1. No later than one hundred twenty (120) days after election or appointment, complete orientation training provided by the University of Tennessee's county technical assistance service (CTAS). This subdivision (a)(1) applies only to members newly elected or appointed on or after April 12, 2018; and
    2. Complete at least seven (7) hours of continuing education training provided or approved by CTAS annually. The period for compliance under this subdivision (a)(2) begins on September 1, 2018. This subdivision (a)(2) does not apply to:
      1. A person appointed to fill a vacancy on a county legislative body until September 1 after the person's appointment;
      2. An incumbent in office on April 12, 2018, until the incumbent is separated from office for any reason and is subsequently elected or appointed to serve as a member of a county legislative body; and
      3. Any commissioner after eight (8) years of service.
  2. CTAS may provide the training required under subsection (a) in person or by any other means available.
  3. The comptroller of the treasury shall, at least annually, post on its website the name of each member of a legislative body and the hours of training required and completed for each member in compliance with subsection (a).

Acts 2018, ch. 718, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-5-113 (Acts 1875, ch. 63, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1887, ch. 236, § 2; Shan., § 6003; Code 1932, § 10201; impl. am. Acts 1935, ch. 10, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 10201; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-515), concerning notice to the county legislative body for election of county officers, was repealed by Acts 2008, ch. 871, § 4, effective May 6, 2008.

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 718, § 2. April 12, 2018.

5-5-114. Resolution or ordinance prohibiting or restricting display of flag prohibited — Resolution or ordinance regulating manner or placement of flag.

  1. Except as provided in subsection (b), a county legislative body shall not adopt or enforce a resolution or ordinance that prohibits or restricts, or has the effect of prohibiting or restricting, a property owner from displaying a flag of the United States of America, a flag of the state of Tennessee, the MIA/POW flag, or an official or replica flag of any branch of the United States armed forces on the property owner's property.
  2. A county legislative body may adopt and enforce a resolution or ordinance that reasonably regulates the manner and placement of the display of a flag of the United States of America, a flag of the state of Tennessee, the MIA/POW flag, or an official or replica flag of any branch of the United States armed forces only when necessary to promote public health and safety.

Acts 2018, ch. 857, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-5-114 (Code 1858, § 821 (deriv. Acts 1796 (July), ch. 3, § 2); Shan., § 1149; mod. Code 1932, § 1910; mod. C. Supp. 1950, § 1910; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-516), concerning notice to the public for election of county officers, was repealed by Acts 2008, ch. 871, § 4, effective May 6, 2008.

For the Preamble to the act concerning local government restrictions on flag displays, please see Acts 2018, ch. 857.

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 857, § 3. May 3, 2018.

5-5-115. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-5-115 (Code 1858, § 819 (deriv. Acts 1796 (July), ch. 3, § 1; 1841-1842, ch. 101, §§ 1, 2); Shan., § 1146; Code 1932, § 1907; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-517), concerning the conduct of elections for county officers, was repealed by Acts 2008, ch. 871, § 4, effective May 6, 2008.

5-5-116. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-5-116 (Acts 1887, ch. 180, § 1; Shan., § 1147; Code 1932, § 1908; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-518), concerning the recording of votes for county officers, was repealed by Acts 2008, ch. 871, § 4, effective May 6, 2008.

5-5-117. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-5-117 (Code 1858, § 820 (deriv. Acts 1841-1842, ch. 101, § 1); Shan., § 1148; Code 1932, § 1909; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-519), concerning postponement of elections for county officers, was repealed by Acts 2008, ch. 871, § 4, effective May 6, 2008.

5-5-118. Powers and duties — Voting railroad stock.

The county legislative bodies have the power, and it is their duty, through an agent or proxy, to vote the stock of the county in any railroad, in all elections of officers and directors in such railroad.

Acts 1875, ch. 70, § 4; Shan., § 6020; mod. Code 1932, § 10219; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-520.

5-5-119. Powers and duties — Supervision of local improvements.

The establishment and general supervision of roads and ferries, watercourses and local improvements, are entrusted to the county legislative body, as provided in title 54, chapters 7 and 9-14.

Code 1858, § 4206 (deriv. Acts 1804, ch. 1; 1835-1836, ch. 29, § 1); Shan., § 6038; Code 1932, § 10235; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-521.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 5 Tenn. Juris., Bridges, § 4; 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 11; 23 Tenn. Juris., Streets and Highways, § 3.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Roads and Ferries.

County legislative bodies are given exclusive control of the establishment and supervision of roads and ferries. Ledbetter v. Clarksville & R. Turnpike Co., 110 Tenn. 92, 73 S.W. 117, 1902 Tenn. LEXIS 42 (1903), overruled in part, Knierim v. Leatherwood, 542 S.W.2d 806, 1976 Tenn. LEXIS 521 (Tenn. 1976).

The building, repairing and maintaining of roads is a county purpose, and pike commissioners provided for by private acts are county officers. Grindstaff v. Carter County, 152 Tenn. 605, 279 S.W. 1041, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 107 (1926).

5-5-120. Powers and duties — Commissioners for local improvements.

The county legislative bodies have power to appoint commissioners for towns, toll bridges and other public improvements, and to fill all vacancies that may at any time occur among the commissioners, as prescribed.

Code 1858, § 4207 (deriv. Acts 1817, ch. 136, § 2; 1835-1836, ch. 29, § 12); Shan., § 6039; Code 1932, § 10236; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-522.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 11.

5-5-121. Powers and duties — Control of public buildings.

The county legislative bodies have power to erect or control, and dispose of public county buildings, as provided in chapter 7 of this title.

Code 1858, § 4214; Shan., § 6044; Code 1932, § 10241; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-523.

Cross-References. Lease of buildings and facilities authorized, title 12, ch. 2, part 3.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 11.

Attorney General Opinions. County legislative bodies' responsibility to provide court facilities, OAG 99-049, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 50 (3/2/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Lease of Courthouse Yard.

County's contract to lease part of courthouse yard for purpose of building and operating a filling station was ultra vires. Henry v. Grainger County, 154 Tenn. 576, 290 S.W. 2, 1926 Tenn. LEXIS 155 (1926).

5-5-122. Powers and duties — Tax levy for public buildings.

The county legislative bodies have full power to lay any tax, from time to time, and, at any time that they may think proper, to build, extend or repair, any courthouse, jail or public office for county purposes.

Code 1858, § 4211 (deriv. Acts 1829, ch. 99, § 1); Shan., § 6041; mod. Code 1932, § 10238; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-524.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 22 Tenn. Juris., Special Assessments, § 3.

Attorney General Opinions. Tax levy for public buildings may be levied by a county as a litigation tax; however, the tax must be levied in the same manner and in an amount not to exceed the amount of litigation taxes levied by the state, OAG 03-006, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 6 (1/22/03).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Levy of Special Tax.

An order of the county legislative body levying a special tax is void unless it states the purpose thereof, and a warrant to collect such tax will be quashed. Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 115 Tenn. 526, 92 S.W. 238, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1906).

No special tax for suppressing an epidemic or repaying a loan from sinking fund commissioners can be levied because these are general county purposes intended to be covered by the general tax levy, and a special tax for these purposes has not been authorized by the general assembly. Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 115 Tenn. 526, 92 S.W. 238, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1906).

2. Review of Decisions.

Determination of county legislative body with reference to assessment of taxes, the building of a courthouse, and like things, political, legislative and municipal in character, is not reviewable. Donnelly v. Fritts, 159 Tenn. 605, 21 S.W.2d 619, 1929 Tenn. LEXIS 18 (1929).

5-5-123. Powers and duties — Time for county tax levy.

The county legislative body is required, at the first term in every year, to impose, and provide for the collection of, the tax for county purposes, and fix the rate thereof; but if it omits such duty at the first session, it shall be performed at the next regular session.

Code 1858, § 4193 (deriv. Acts 1837-1838, ch. 135, § 2); Shan., § 6013; Code 1932, § 10212; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 12; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-525.

Cross-References. General revenue authority of counties, title 67, ch. 1, part 6.

Attorney General Opinions. Tax levy for public buildings may be levied by a county as a litigation tax; however, the tax must be levied in the same manner and in an amount not to exceed the amount of litigation taxes levied by the state, OAG 03-006, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 6 (1/22/03).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Time for Making Assessment.

Assessment may be made at any quarterly session. McLean v. State, 55 Tenn. 22, 1873 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1873); Bright v. Halloman, 75 Tenn. 309, 1881 Tenn. LEXIS 121 (1881); Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 50 (1906). See Patterson v. Washington County, 136 Tenn. 60, 188 S.W. 613, 1916 Tenn. LEXIS 100 (1916).

2. Correction of Errors.

County legislative body may correct error made by it in fixing tax rate too high. N. C. & S. L. R. Co. v. Carroll County, 12 Tenn. App. 380, — S.W.2d —, 1930 Tenn. App. LEXIS 78 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1930).

3. Amendment of Tax Levy.

A tax levy made at the April term could be amended at the following January term by striking out the levy as to certain purposes and levying for certain other purposes instead where the latter purposes were authorized by law. Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 50 (1906).

4. Adoption of Report as Assessment.

Where the tax books were made out according to rates of a levy made by a void assessment, which was reported by committee, and the report received and adopted, and the tax books directed to be turned over to the collector, this amounted to an assessment according to the rates fixed in the tax books and report. McLean v. State, 55 Tenn. 22, 1873 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1873).

5. Assessment for Preceding Year.

Assessment may be made for a preceding year. Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 50 (1906).

5-5-124. Powers and duties — Correction of tax errors.

The county legislative bodies may release from double taxes, when they have been incurred, and correct errors in the tax list.

Code 1858, § 4213 (deriv. Acts 1851-1852, ch. 171, § 1); Shan., § 6043; Code 1932, § 10240; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-526.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Special Statutory Limitation on Corrections.

Where a tax act provides that nothing therein shall restrict the power of the county legislative body to determine applications in regard to alleged erroneous assessments, provided such application be made at the first meeting of the county legislative body occurring more than 30 days after the return of the assessors, “and never thereafter,” the quoted words are merely directory, and will not take away the general jurisdiction of the county legislative body over the subject of erroneous assessments. Nashville Sav. Bank v. Nashville, 2 Cooper's Tenn. Ch. 362 (1877).

5-5-125. Powers and duties — Exemptions from roadwork, peddling requirements.

The county legislative bodies may exempt any indigent, decrepit, or other persons unable by manual labor or physical exertion to obtain a living, from working on the public roads as provided in § 71-5-2302, or allow persons to hawk and peddle, without license, as provided in § 67-4-102.

Code 1858, § 4212 (deriv. Acts 1845-1846, ch. 97); Shan., § 6042; Code 1932, § 10239; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 15; 1979, ch. 23, § 4; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-527.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Exemption Power.

Exemption is referable to the administrative power of the county legislative body. Brown v. Hows, 163 Tenn. 138, 40 S.W.2d 1017, 1930 Tenn. LEXIS 140 (1931), rehearing denied, 163 Tenn. 178, 42 S.W.2d 210, 1930 Tenn. LEXIS 144 (1930).

2. Extent of Exemption.

Exemption in one county is not effective in another. Brown v. Hows, 163 Tenn. 138, 40 S.W.2d 1017, 1930 Tenn. LEXIS 140 (1931), rehearing denied, 163 Tenn. 178, 42 S.W.2d 210, 1930 Tenn. LEXIS 144 (1930).

5-5-126. Powers and duties — Oaths of witnesses.

Power is given to members of the county legislative body to administer an oath or affirmation, as provided by law for witnesses appearing in a court of record of this state to give testimony in such court, when a witness is called to give testimony before the county legislative body or any committee of the county legislative body that has been created by a duly adopted resolution of the county legislative body.

Acts 1979, ch. 71, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-528.

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of Carter County planning commission to require testimony under oath.  OAG 12-105, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 109 (11/26/12).

5-5-127. Powers and duties — Alcoholic beverages in parks, etc.

  1. A county may by resolution of its county legislative body prohibit or restrict the consumption of any alcoholic beverage or beer in public parks or recreation areas that are not within the corporate boundaries of a municipality. Such areas shall be prominently posted by the county in order to give the public reasonable notice.
  2. A violation of such a resolution shall upon conviction be a Class A misdemeanor and be punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00).

Acts 1984, ch. 976, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. The misdemeanor provisions in this section may have been affected by the Criminal Sentencing Reform Act of 1989. See §§ 39-11-114, 40-35-110 and 40-35-111.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Part 2
Transitional Provisions

5-5-201. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-5-201 (Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 35; T.C.A., § 5-551; Acts 1980, ch. 841, § 1; 1981, ch. 74, §§ 1, 2), relating to transitional provisions concerning forms of government established by private acts, was repealed by Acts 1982, ch. 623, § 1.

5-5-202. County bonds.

  1. It is the intent of the general assembly to preserve the rights and privileges of holders of outstanding county bonds and other indebtedness. The respective counties shall continue to be liable upon all outstanding bonds and other indebtedness for which they were liable prior to May 11, 1978, and nothing in this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title shall be construed to abolish, limit or abrogate any rights or privileges heretofore existing in any holders of such outstanding bonds or indebtedness.
  2. With respect to county bonds and other indebtedness, the county mayor established by this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title shall succeed to all rights and duties heretofore existing as to any officers whose functions are assumed in whole or part by the county mayor pursuant to this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title. Likewise with respect to county bonds and other indebtedness, the county legislative body established by this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title shall succeed to all rights and duties heretofore existing as to any entities whose functions are assumed in whole or part by the county legislative body pursuant to this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title.

Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 34; T.C.A., § 5-552; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-5-203. Effect on private and other acts.

  1. Any law, private act or general act of local application in conflict with any provision of this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title is hereby repealed.
  2. Any law, private act or general law of local application not in conflict with this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title shall remain in full force and effect; provided, that any conflict shall be construed in favor of implementing this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title and repealing the conflicting law.
  3. Nothing in this chapter and chapters 1 and 6 of this title shall be construed as affecting the operation or existence of boards, commissions, committees or other agencies of local government except as necessary to avoid conflict with express provisions hereof.

Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 40, 41; T.C.A., § 5-553.

Chapter 6
County Mayors

Part 1
Substantive Provisions

5-6-101. County mayor — Term — Title.

  1. Except in counties organized under the consolidated government provisions of the Constitution of Tennessee, article XI, § 9, the chief executive officer of each county shall be a county mayor elected in accordance with § 5-6-102 by the qualified voters of the county for a term of four (4) years or until a successor is elected and qualified.
  2. The term of office for a county mayor shall begin on September 1 next succeeding the county mayor's election.
  3. References to the chair of the county court and county judge appearing elsewhere in this code shall be deemed references to the county mayor.
    1. The chief executive officer of each county shall be redesignated and hereafter referred to as the county mayor, except as provided in subdivision (d)(2). References to the term “county executive” appearing elsewhere in this code are to be deemed references to the county mayor.
    2. Private acts enacted prior to March 28, 2007, designating the title of the chief executive officer of the county as “county executive” shall remain in full force and effect. No county may redesignate the county mayor as county executive by private act following March 28, 2007.
    3. Notwithstanding subdivisions (d)(1) and (2), in any county having a population of not less than twenty thousand one hundred (20,100) nor more than twenty thousand two hundred (20,200), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the chief executive officer of the county shall be designated and hereafter referred to as the county executive.

Code 1858, § 4187 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 6, § 4); impl. am. Acts 1887, ch. 236, § 2; Shan., § 6004; Code 1932, § 10202; impl. am. Acts 1935, ch. 10, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 10202; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 16; 1979, ch. 53, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-601; Acts 1981, ch. 219, § 2; 2003, ch. 90, §§ 1, 2; 2004, ch. 568, § 1; 2007, ch. 3, § 1; 2011, ch. 107, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 12.

Law Reviews.

The Judicial System in Tennessee and Potentialities for Reorganization — Judges in Tennessee (Elvin E. Overton), 32 Tenn. L. Rev. 514 (1965).

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of county executive (now county mayor) over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

County attorney serving as attorney for county highway department, OAG 99-044, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 55 (3/1/99).

Officials elected as “county executives” in 2002 and redesignated as “county mayors” beginning July 1, 2003, are bound by their oath of office to perform their duties of office and refer to themselves henceforth as “county mayors,” except to the extent the use of any stationery or other office products with the title “county executive” that was printed prior to the effective date of the 2003 amendment, OAG 03-096, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 114 (8/13/03).

There is no penalty for officials who refuse to refer to themselves as “county mayors” beginning July 1, 2003, OAG 03-096, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 114 (8/13/03).

5-6-102. Election.

Election of the county mayor shall be in accordance with the following provisions:

  1. In counties of Class 1 and counties of Class 2 having a county council form of county government as established by § 8-24-101, in counties having a population of not less than twelve thousand three hundred fifty (12,350) nor more than twelve thousand three hundred seventy-five (12,375), or not less than thirty-eight thousand eight hundred (38,800) nor more than thirty-eight thousand nine hundred (38,900), by the federal census of 1970 or any subsequent federal census, and in counties having a chair of the county court on May 11, 1978, the county mayor shall be elected in the regular August election in 1978 and every four (4) years thereafter.
  2. In all other counties, the county mayor shall be elected in the regular August election in 1978 and every four (4) years thereafter.

Code 1858, § 4187 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 6, § 4); impl. am. Acts 1887, ch. 236, § 2; Shan., § 6004; Code 1932, § 10202; impl. am. Acts 1935, ch. 10, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 10202; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-601 (b); Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 16; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-602; Acts 1981, ch. 219, § 3; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Former § 5-6-102(2), concerning counties having an incumbent county judge elected in 1974, was deemed obsolete by the code commission in 2005.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

Attorney General Opinions. Status of interim county mayor as member of county commission.  OAG 11-2, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 2 (1/7/11).

5-6-103. [Obsolete.]

Compiler's Notes. This section (Code 1858, § 4187 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 6, § 4); impl. am. Acts 1887, ch. 236, § 2; Shan., § 6004; Code 1932, § 10202; impl. am. Acts 1935, ch. 10, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 10202; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-601(c); Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 17; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-603; Acts 1981, ch. 318, § 3), which provided a method for filling vacancies in the office of county judge during the transitional period ending in 1982, is obsolete. For provisions applicable to filling vacancies in the office of county executive (now county mayor), see § 5-1-104.

5-6-104. Qualifications.

  1. The county mayor shall be:
    1. A qualified voter of the county;
    2. At least twenty-five (25) years of age; and
    3. A resident of the county for one (1) full year prior to the date of filing a nominating petition for election to such office.
  2. The county mayor shall continue to reside in the county during the county mayor's term of office, and shall not, during the county mayor's term of office, hold any other public office for profit.

Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 17; T.C.A., § 5-604; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 12.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

Attorney General Opinions. Individual serving as county executive (now county mayor) and mayor, OAG 98-095, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 95 (4/29/98).

5-6-105. Compensation.

  1. The county mayor shall devote full time to the duties and demands of the office unless the voters of the county, by means of a referendum authorized by Acts 1979, chapter 145, § 2, determine that such duties and demands are insufficient to require full-time action.
    1. The county mayor shall receive for the county mayor's services such compensation as established in § 8-24-102.
    2. Such minimum salary shall apply to a county mayor who devotes full time to such office.
    3. The salary of a county mayor who devotes less than full time to such office shall be determined by resolution of the county legislative body.

Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 17; 1979, ch. 145, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-605; Acts 1982, ch. 890, § 1; 1996, ch. 936, § 2; 1998, ch. 590, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Section 2 of Acts 1979, ch. 145 reads:

“(a)  In each county in which, on the effective date of this act, the county executive (now county mayor) devotes less than full time to the office, a referendum shall be called by the county election commission and shall be held concurrently with the 1980 August general election in order to allow the voters of the county to determine whether the duties and demands of the office require full time attention. If such voters determine that a full time county executive (now county mayor) is required, the position shall become full time effective September 1, 1982.

“(b)  In each county in which, on September 1, 1982, the county executive (now county mayor) devotes less than full time to the office, upon receiving a certified copy of a resolution duly adopted by the county legislative body or a petition signed by at least ten percent (10%) of the qualified voters of the county requesting a referendum to determine whether the duties and demands of the office of county executive (now county mayor) require full time attention, the county election commission shall call and hold such referendum. Such referendum shall occur concurrently with the 1984 August general election or the next succeeding August general election occurring quadrennially after such 1984 election. The position if approved, shall become full time on September 1, 1986 or the next succeeding September 1st occurring quadrennially after such 1986 date.”

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-6-106. Powers and duties — Generally — Ex officio memberships — Appointments.

  1. The county mayor shall be the chief executive officer of the county and shall have all the powers and duties formerly exercised by the county judge, county chair, or elected official exercising general supervision of the county government as provided by this chapter, other general law, special, local or private acts.
    1. The county mayor shall serve as a nonvoting ex officio member of the county legislative body. The county mayor or the county mayor's designated representative shall serve as a nonvoting ex officio member of each committee of the county legislative body and of each board, commission or authority of the county government, except as provided by law or by action of the county legislative body.
    2. In those circumstances not addressed by subdivision (b)(1), the county mayor may designate, from time to time, a professional staff member with appropriate training or a member of the county legislative body to sit in the county mayor's place on any board, authority or commission that the county mayor serves upon by virtue of holding the office of county mayor. Any such designee shall have the powers, including the power to vote, as are otherwise conferred upon the county mayor when serving upon such board, authority or commission. At any such meeting attended by the county mayor, only the county mayor shall exercise voting power.
  2. Except as otherwise provided by general law, or special or private act, the county mayor shall appoint members of county boards and commissions and county department heads. Such appointees shall be subject to confirmation by the county legislative body, and in so doing, the legislative body may express its views fully and freely and shall vote for or against confirmation. The legislative body shall not seek or interview such prospective employees prior to their appointment by the county mayor. Such appointment and confirmation are not applicable to employees appointed by other elected county officials.

Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 17; 1979, ch. 80, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-606; Acts 1985, ch. 145, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Authority to solemnize marriages, § 36-3-301.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Pritchard on Wills and Administration of Estates (4th ed., Phillips and Robinson), § 37.

Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 12.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

Attorney General Opinions. Appointment of county officials, OAG 97-068, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 67 (5/12/97).

Appointment of emergency communication district board of directors, OAG 94-024, 1994 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (3/9/94).

Authority of county executive (now county mayor) over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

Lewis County highway advisory commission.  OAG 12-74, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 79 (7/19/12).

Where county commission has hired an employee in the valid exercise of its authority, a county mayor may not unilaterally terminate that employee unless expressly authorized.  Nor may a county mayor defund or abolish an entire county department without the approval of the county commission.  OAG 14-28, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (3/7/14).

5-6-107. Powers and duties — Action on legislation.

    1. The county mayor has the power of veto with respect to resolutions of the county legislative body.
    2. Such veto shall apply only to legislative resolutions and shall not apply to resolutions in which the legislative body is exercising administrative or appellate authority.
    1. Every resolution shall be submitted to the county mayor.
    2. If the county mayor signs it, the resolution shall become effective immediately or at a later date if the resolution so provides.
    3. If the county mayor vetoes the resolution, the county mayor shall return it to the county legislative body for action on the county mayor's veto, in which case it shall become effective only upon subsequent passage by a majority of all the members comprising the county legislative body.
    4. Such passage must take place within twenty (20) days of receiving the county mayor's message of veto or at the next regular meeting of the county legislative body, whichever is later.
    5. If the county mayor fails either to sign or to veto a resolution and to report the county mayor's action to the county legislative body within ten (10) days after the resolution is submitted to the county mayor, the resolution shall become effective without the county mayor's signature upon the expiration of the ten-day period or at a later date if the resolution so provides.
  1. The veto may not be exercised with respect to specific items or parts of items in the annual county budget, and may only be exercised with respect to the whole.
    1. This section shall not be applicable to counties of Class 1 as established by § 8-24-101, that have comparable provisions in special or private acts establishing a veto power in the county mayor.
    2. This section shall not be applicable in any county in which the county mayor is elected as chair of the county legislative body as provided in § 5-5-103.
    3. This section shall be applicable in counties having a population of not less than twelve thousand three hundred fifty (12,350) nor more than twelve thousand three hundred seventy-five (12,375), by the federal census of 1970 or any subsequent federal census.
    4. This section shall be applicable in counties having a population of not less than thirty-eight thousand eight hundred (38,800) nor more than thirty-eight thousand nine hundred (38,900), by the federal census of 1970 or any subsequent federal census.

Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 18; 1979, ch. 53, § 2; T.C.A., § 5-607; Acts 1988, ch. 981, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 12.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

5-6-108. Powers and duties — County property and accounts.

The county mayor shall be the accounting officer and general agent of the county; and, as such, the county mayor shall have power, and it shall be the county mayor's duty to:

  1. Have the care and custody of all the county property, except such as is by law placed in the custody of other officers;
  2. Appoint an agent or attorney to take care of such property, and fix such agent's or attorney's compensation;
  3. Control all books, papers and instruments pertaining to the county mayor's office;
  4. Audit all claims for money against the county;
  5. Draw, without seal, all warrants upon the county treasury;
  6. Audit and settle the accounts of the county trustee, and those of any other collector or receiver of county revenue, taxes, or incomes, payable into the county treasury, and those of any persons entrusted to receive or expend any money of the county;
  7. Require such officers or persons to render and settle their accounts as directed by law, or by the authority under which they act;
  8. Enter in a book, to be known as the warrant book, in the order of issuance, the number, date, amount and name of the drawee of each warrant drawn upon the treasury;
  9. Keep in a suitable book an account of the receipts and expenditures of the county, so as to show clearly the assets of the county, and the debts payable to and by it, balancing the account semiannually, and generally to superintend the financial concerns of the county; and
  10. Report, in writing, semiannually, to the county legislative body all moneys received and paid out, and a complete statement of the financial condition of the county, and the county mayor shall settle the county mayor's accounts once every year.

Code 1858, § 421 (deriv. Acts 1855-1856, ch. 253, § 8; 1857-1858, ch. 38, § 8); impl. am. Acts 1859-1860, ch. 120, § 8; Acts 1879, ch. 76, § 3; Shan., § 517; Code 1932, § 769; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 21; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-608; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Motion against collector for failure to settle accounts, § 67-1-1602.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 12; 16 Tenn. Juris., Judges, § 9; 19 Tenn. Juris., Municipal, State and County Securities, § 4.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of county executive (now county mayor) over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

County executive's (now county mayor's) authority over sheriff's department purchasing, OAG 99-051, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 48 (3/4/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Appropriation of Funds.

The county executive (now county mayor) has no power to make appropriations of county moneys; this power belongs to the county legislative body, therefore a proceeding to compel an appropriation of money out of the county treasury should be against the members of the county legislative body and not against the county executive (now county mayor). Connell v. County Judge of Davidson, 39 Tenn. 189, 1858 Tenn. LEXIS 276 (1858).

2. Bond Issues.

The county executive (now county mayor) is not authorized to issue bonds for any purpose that are binding on the county. First Nat'l Bank v. Obion County, 3 F.2d 623, 1924 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1277 (D. Tenn. 1924).

3. Custody of Courthouse.

The county executive (now county mayor) has no custody or care of the courthouse, because the same is given to the sheriff, or some other person when specially appointed by the court. Ferriss v. Williamson, 67 Tenn. 424, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 393 (1874).

4. County Warrants Generally.

The “county warrant” is a mode of reaching money in the county treasury, and is a voucher to the disbursing officer. Camp v. Knox County, 71 Tenn. 199, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 58 (1879); Davidson County v. Olwill, 72 Tenn. 28, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1879); Bank of Gallatin v. Baber, 74 Tenn. 273, 1880 Tenn. LEXIS 247 (1880).

5. —Issuance of Warrants.

The county executive (now county mayor) has no power to draw a warrant upon the treasury of the county for any funds in the hands of the county trustee, in the absence of express statutory authority, without an appropriation having first been made for that purpose by the county legislative body, who alone are authorized to act for the county in such matters. State v. True, 116 Tenn. 294, 95 S.W. 1028, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 24 (1905).

Warrants may be issued although there is no money in the treasury to pay them, but they cannot be paid unless an appropriation has been made. Macon County v. Dixon, 20 Tenn. App. 425, 100 S.W.2d 5, 1936 Tenn. App. LEXIS 34 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1936).

6. — —Mandamus.

Mandamus will not lie to compel the county executive (now county mayor) to issue a county warrant, where he disputes the correctness or justness of an unadjudicated claim. Connell v. County Judge of Davidson, 39 Tenn. 189, 1858 Tenn. LEXIS 276 (1858); Whitesides v. Stewart, 91 Tenn. 710, 20 S.W. 245, 1892 Tenn. LEXIS 40 (1892).

Mandamus was ordered against county executive (now county mayor) where there was no right of setoff as claimed. Robison v. Hawkins, 80 Tenn. 450, 1883 Tenn. LEXIS 194 (1883).

7. —Interest.

County warrants are not negotiable and do not bear interest as a matter of law, even after demand of payment. Camp v. Knox County, 71 Tenn. 199, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 58 (1879); Gibson County v. Rains, 79 Tenn. 20, 1883 Tenn. LEXIS 7 (1883).

While county legislative body cannot by general order make all county warrants bear interest indefinitely, it could contract to pay interest on the county's warrants for forbearance to sue until sufficient money was in the treasury for payment. Davidson County v. Olwill, 72 Tenn. 28, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1879).

8. —Effect of Payment.

Where a county trustee paid a warrant by check but turned same over to a bank for money with which to pay the warrant, the same was extinguished and could not be revived as an obligation by such delivery to the bank. Bank of Erin v. Houston County, 6 Tenn. App. 638, — S.W.2d —, 1928 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1928).

9. —Suits on Warrants.

10. — —Effect of Assignment.

Warrants are assignable, and may be sued upon in name of payee for use. A written assignment by payee vests legal title in assignee and parol assignment vests equitable title, enforceable in equity. Bradley County v. Surgoine & Tibbs, 65 Tenn. 108, 1873 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (1873); Bank of Erin v. Houston County, 6 Tenn. App. 638, — S.W.2d —, 1928 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1928).

The purchaser or bearer of a county warrant, without the written endorsement or assignment of the payee, cannot maintain a suit on it in his own name against the county. Bradley County v. Surgoine & Tibbs, 65 Tenn. 108, 1873 Tenn. LEXIS 315 (1873); Bradley County v. Surgoine & Tibbs, 68 Tenn. 407, 1877 Tenn. LEXIS 35 (1877).

Warrant regular on its face establishes prima facie the validity of the claim, but assignee takes subject to risk of invalidity since a warrant is not a negotiable instrument. Bank of Erin v. Houston County, 6 Tenn. App. 638, — S.W.2d —, 1928 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1928).

11. — —Proof.

Where county warrants are regular on their face the burden is on the county to prove their invalidity. Macon County v. Dixon, 20 Tenn. App. 425, 100 S.W.2d 5, 1936 Tenn. App. LEXIS 34 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1936).

In an action to determine the validity of county warrants, it was wrong to exclude testimony relating to the preparation and submission of claims on the ground that the county records were the best evidence when the county held the records and refused to produce them. Macon County v. Dixon, 20 Tenn. App. 425, 100 S.W.2d 5, 1936 Tenn. App. LEXIS 34 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1936).

12. — —Interest.

Interest, by way of damages, may be allowed on county warrants by the jury or the court trying the case, without the intervention of a jury, if equity and justice demands it. Gibson County v. Rains, 79 Tenn. 20, 1883 Tenn. LEXIS 7 (1883).

13. Defalcation of County Trustee.

In case of the county trustee's defalcation, it is duty of county executive (now county mayor) to order the district attorney to enter motion against him and his sureties. McHenderson v. Anderson County, 105 Tenn. 591, 59 S.W. 1016, 1900 Tenn. LEXIS 110 (1900).

14. Report of Financial Condition.

The county executive (now county mayor) is not indictable for failure to make the semiannual report of the financial condition of the county. State v. Cordell, 79 Tenn. 546, 1883 Tenn. LEXIS 105 (1883).

5-6-109. Powers and duties — Bond.

All county mayors shall, before entering upon the discharge of their duties, enter into an official bond prepared in accordance with title 8, chapter 19, to be approved by the county legislative bodies, in the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), or in a greater sum as the county legislative body may determine, payable to the state, for the use of their respective counties, conditioned for the faithful discharge of their duties as accounting officers and general agents of their counties, during their official terms, as set forth in § 5-6-108. The bond shall be recorded in the office of the county register of deeds and transmitted to the office of the county clerk for safekeeping.

Acts 1879, ch. 76, § 1; Shan., § 516; Code 1932, § 768; Acts 1977, ch. 270, § 1; 1978, ch. 934, § 21; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-609; Acts 1998, ch. 677, § 2; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2013, ch. 315, § 7.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 2013, ch. 315, § 31 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall apply to the renewal or obtaining an official bond for any bonding after April 29, 2013.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

Attorney General Opinions. County executive's [now county mayor's] authority over sheriff's department purchasing, OAG 99-051, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 48 (3/4/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Suits on Bond.

A suit in the name of the state for the use of a county may be prosecuted without the district attorney joining therein, against the county executive (now county mayor) of such county and his surety for the revenue and debts owing the county not accounted for, and for the county's money wrongfully paid out by him as financial agent, requiring him to account and settle as manager and custodian of the public finances and funds of the county. State use of Marion County v. Kelley, 111 Tenn. 583, 82 S.W. 311, 1903 Tenn. LEXIS 47 (1903); State v. Ridley, 114 Tenn. 508, 85 S.W. 891, 1904 Tenn. LEXIS 103 (1904).

5-6-110. Powers and duties — Duties as financial officer.

It is the duty of the county mayor to:

  1. Draw the county mayor's warrant on the county trustee for the payment of any judgment recovered against, or debt due from, the county;
  2. Reduce to writing the testimony of any witness examined by the county mayor touching any settlement, and file the same therewith;
  3. Minutely examine and settle the accounts of county officers, referring to the records, documents, dockets and papers in the offices to verify each item;
  4. Report to the county legislative body the settlements, under oath that the county mayor believes that the report contains a true schedule of the revenue collected by each officer, and that the county mayor is bound by law to pay to the county trustee;
  5. Make duplicates of the settlements with the clerks of the circuit, chancery and appellate courts, and deliver one (1) of the duplicates to the county clerk, and file the others in each of the clerk's offices.

Code 1858, § 525; Acts 1879, ch. 162, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1907, ch. 602, § 45; Shan., § 669; Code 1932, § 1065; impl. am. Acts 1937, ch. 33, § 51; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 21; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-610; Acts 1998, ch. 1080, § 10; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 12.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of county executive [now county mayor] over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

County executive's [now county mayor's] authority over sheriff's department purchasing, OAG 99-051, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 48 (3/4/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Drawing of Warrants.

The county executive (now county mayor) must draw warrants on the county trustee, and not on the county. State v. Ferriss, 71 Tenn. 700, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 133 (1879).

2. Mandamus.

Mandamus will not lie to compel the county executive (now county mayor) to issue a county warrant, where he disputes the correctness or justness of an unadjudicated claim. Connell v. County Judge of Davidson, 39 Tenn. 189, 1858 Tenn. LEXIS 276 (1858); Whitesides v. Stewart, 91 Tenn. 710, 20 S.W. 245, 1892 Tenn. LEXIS 40 (1892).

Mandamus was ordered against county executive (now county mayor) where there was no right of setoff as claimed. Robison v. Hawkins, 80 Tenn. 450, 1883 Tenn. LEXIS 194 (1883).

5-6-111. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-6-111 (Acts 1879, ch. 162, § 3; Shan., § 670; Code 1932, § 1066; impl. am. Acts 1937, ch. 33, § 51; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 21; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-611), concerning failure by the county executive to report on the privilege tax, was repealed by Acts 1998, ch. 1080, § 11, effective May 19, 1998.

5-6-112. Powers and duties — Powers as financial officer.

The county mayor has the power to:

  1. If there is no county attorney, employ or retain counsel, or both, to advise the county mayor and the members of the county legislative body as to their legal rights as such members, to prepare and draft resolutions for passage by the body, and to represent the county either as plaintiff or defendant in such suits as may be brought by or against the county, except suits by the county to collect delinquent taxes, which counsel shall be entitled to a reasonable fee for such counsel's services or retention, or both, to be fixed by a majority vote of the members of the county legislative body at one (1) of its regular sessions, to be paid out of the county general fund;
  2. Require the clerks of the several courts to produce to the county mayor all records, documents, dockets and papers in their offices relating to each office, and tending to give information in relation to the county revenue collected by such officer for the use of the county;
  3. Call or summon before the county mayor all witnesses having any knowledge relating to the county revenue;
  4. Demand of each of the clerks of the several courts an account, on oath, of all moneys by such clerk collected for the use of the county, setting forth each separate item, from whom and at what time received, and the source from which it was derived;
  5. Call the collectors of the county tax, at the time prescribed by law, for the purpose of making a final settlement for the year last past;
  6. Call the county trustee to a settlement when required by law, or by the county legislative body;
  7. Procure, at the expense of the county, a well bound book, and therein cause to be entered, on the left-hand pages, two (2) regular accounts, one (1) against the collectors of taxes and revenue, the other against the county trustee, stating the amount of all the taxes for which the collectors are accountable, and each item with which each of the officers is chargeable, on behalf of the county, expressing the manner in which it became due and owing, or by whom paid. And, on the right-hand page, opposite the debits, the county mayor shall cause to be entered each item or credit to which either of the officers is entitled, plainly showing the amount thereof and to whom paid;
  8. Transfer the balance, if any, either for or against the county, to their respective accounts to be opened for the ensuing year, so that the county mayor may be enabled, when required by the county legislative body, plainly to show the state and condition of the county treasury, and in what manner the moneys thereof have been disbursed; and
  9. Demand of the county clerk a list of the amount of taxes put into the hands of the collector, and due and owing for that year, together with sufficient vouchers, showing the amount of moneys by such clerk paid to the trustee, as required by law, for fines and forfeitures, and the amount of all appropriations made for the year by the county legislative body, with all necessary documents and vouchers showing any receipts or disbursements of county moneys.

Code 1858, § 520; Shan., § 660; mod. Code 1932, § 1059; Acts 1947, ch. 114, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 1059; impl. am. Acts 1963, ch. 14, § 1; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 21; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-612; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 2 Tenn. Juris., Appeal and Error, § 254; 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 12.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of county executive (now county mayor) over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

County attorney serving as attorney for county highway department, OAG 99-044, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 55 (3/1/99).

5-6-113. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-6-113 (Code 1858, § 423; Acts 1877, ch. 106, § 3; Shan., § 519; Code 1932, § 771; Acts 1963, ch. 253, §§ 1-3; 1967, ch. 291, § 1; modified; Acts 1971, ch. 206, § 1; 1978, ch. 934, § 21; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-613), concerning powers and duties and compensation as the financial officer, was repealed by Acts 2000, ch. 585, § 1, effective March 10, 2000.

5-6-114. Powers and duties — Acting for clerk.

When the county clerk is incompetent, because of interest or relationship, to do or perform any official act required by law to be done by the county clerk, it shall be lawful, and is made the duty of the county mayor to do and perform that act.

Acts 1871, ch. 42, § 1; Shan., § 676; Code 1932, § 1072; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 21; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-614; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Incompetency of clerk, § 18-6-112.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-6-115. Incompetency of clerk — Additional provisions.

When the county clerk is incompetent to take and state any account, the same shall be taken and stated by a special commissioner, to be appointed by the county legislative body as provided by law.

Acts 1871, ch. 42, § 1; Shan., § 677; Code 1932, § 1073; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-615.

Cross-References. Incompetency of clerk, § 18-6-112.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Court System — Probate Courts, 8 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 461 (1978).

5-6-116. Clerical assistants.

The county mayor for each county may employ one (1) or more clerical assistants as may be necessary for the performance of the county mayor's official duties. The county mayor shall establish the compensation of any such assistant within the amount appropriated for such purpose by the county legislative body.

Acts 1959, ch. 196, § 1; 1976, ch. 726, § 1; 1978, ch. 934, § 21; 1979, ch. 130, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-616; Acts 1998, ch. 609, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Law Reviews.

Local Government Law — 1959 Tennessee Survey, 12 Vand. L. Rev. 1257 (1959).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Fixing of Salaries.

Salary schedule provided by this section is the minimum salary only and county legislative body can fix a larger salary under § 5-6-118 [repealed]. Reneau v. Clay County, 221 Tenn. 486, 427 S.W.2d 836, 1968 Tenn. LEXIS 527 (1968).

2. Failure to Fix Salary.

Secretary of county executive (now county mayor) in county of class as to which statute fixed no minimum salary was entitled to recover in quantum meruit where county legislative body did not fix her salary. Reneau v. Clay County, 221 Tenn. 486, 427 S.W.2d 836, 1968 Tenn. LEXIS 527 (1968).

3. Nature of Employment.

Secretary of county executive (now county mayor) was a subordinate employee of the county and did not fall within the provisions of Tenn. Const., art. XI, § 17 as a county office to be filled only by people or county legislative body. Reneau v. Clay County, 221 Tenn. 486, 427 S.W.2d 836, 1968 Tenn. LEXIS 527 (1968).

5-6-117, 5-6-118. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former §§ 5-6-117 and 5-6-118 (Acts 1959, ch. 196, §§ 2, 3; 1978, ch. 934, § 21; T.C.A., §§ 5-617, 5-618), concerning salaries of clerical assistants, were repealed by Acts 1998, ch. 609, §§ 2 and 3, effective March 12, 1998.

5-6-119. [Transferred.]

Code Commission Notes.

Former § 5-6-119, concerning a citizen transportation area, was transferred to § 65-15-127 in 1986, and subsequently to § 65-15-115 in 2015, by authority of the Tennessee code commission.

5-6-120. Transfer of duties to water and wastewater treatment authorities.

    1. The duties of the county mayor in regard to any petition filed pursuant to title 7, chapter 82, are transferred to the water and wastewater treatment authority board under title 68, chapter 221, part 6 in any county that has created such authority. The preceding sentence does not apply to any petition by any governmental entity or state instrumentality that does not purport to adjust or otherwise modify any territory included in the service area of a water and wastewater treatment authority. Such petitions may be granted if the board determines in its sole discretion that the public convenience and necessity require the same. The general assembly enacts this section as a statement of its intent that this section is a clarification of title 68, chapter 221, part 6. From and after the creation of a water and wastewater treatment authority and the establishment of its service area, the authority shall be the sole and exclusive provider of its authorized services in its service area. The designated service area for any particular function or service shall not include any area located within the boundaries of another governmental entity providing the same function or service on the date the service area is established. Different service areas may be established for different functions or services. The authority may cede all or any portion of its functions or service area to another governmental entity upon the board determining in its sole discretion that the public convenience and necessity require the same.
    2. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the transfer of duties as provided in subdivision (a)(1) do not apply to a county which:
      1. Is served by a water and wastewater treatment authority that does not provide water service;
      2. Has its water provided by more than five (5) utility districts; and
      3. Has, under state law, had its county mayor hear petitions of utility districts.
  1. The authority granted in this section shall prevail over any other law to the contrary for all water and wastewater service providers proposing to provide such services in the service area of the authority. Any city proposing to provide such services in the service area of the authority shall have authorization to do so only by filing a petition in the manner established by this section and receiving a cession by the authority.

Acts 1988, ch. 981, § 2; 1989, ch. 580, § 1; 1995, ch. 77, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2018, ch. 811, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment added the second sentence in (a)(1).

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 811, § 2. April 24, 2018.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. Powers of water and wastewater treatment authority outside of its service area.  OAG 11-53, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 55 (6/30/11).

Municipality’s right to provide water services in annexed territory; conflict between T.C.A. §§ 5-6-120 and 6-51-111 and implied repeal of T.C.A. § 5-6-120 by T.C.A. § 6-51-111(e) to the extent of the inconsistency between the two statutes. OAG 14-19, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 20 (2/14/14).

5-6-121. County fire marshal — Appointment — Compensation — Qualifications.

  1. The county mayor for each county may appoint a fire marshal, whose duty shall be to coordinate the efforts of volunteer fire departments, enforce local fire safety regulations and assist in the prevention of fire and arson. If a county fire marshal is employed, the county mayor shall establish the compensation of the county fire marshal within the amount appropriated for such purpose by the county legislative body.
  2. The county fire marshal shall:
    1. Have at least five (5) years of experience as a firefighter;
    2. Have and maintain certification from the state fire marshal in accordance with § 68-120-113; and
    3. Serve at the pleasure of the county mayor.

Acts 2008, ch. 843, § 1.

Part 2
Transitional Provisions

5-6-201. [Obsolete.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-6-201 (Code 1858, § 420 (deriv. Acts 1857-58, ch. 38, § 4); Shan., § 512; Code 1932, § 764; Acts 1974, ch. 458, § 1; 1975, ch. 233, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-602; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 19; T.C.A., § 5-651), concerning county judges elected in 1974 for terms of eight years, is obsolete by virtue of its own provisions.

5-6-202, 5-6-203. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former §§ 5-6-202, 5-6-203 (Code 1958, § 4189 (deriv. Acts 1847-1848, ch. 106, § 2); impl. am. 1875, ch. 70, §§ 1, 3; impl. am. 1877, ch. 106; Acts 1877, ch. 106, §§ 1-3; Shan., §§ 513-515, 6005, 6009-6011; Code 1932, §§ 765-767, 10203, 10208-10210; Acts 1974, ch. 736, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 5-604 — 5-607; Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 21), were repealed effective September 1, 1982, by Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 20. They concerned temporary provisions for presiding at meetings of former monthly county courts and county legislative bodies.

5-6-204. [Obsolete.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-6-204 (Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 39; T.C.A., § 5-654), concerning jurisdiction of former county judges in certain counties, is obsolete due to the expiration in 1982 of the terms of county judges elected in 1974 for eight-year terms.

5-6-205. Effect on private and other acts.

  1. Any law, private act or general act of local application in conflict with this chapter and chapters 1 and 5 of this title is hereby repealed.
  2. Any law, private act or general law of local application not in conflict with this chapter and chapters 1 and 5 of this title shall remain in full force and effect; provided, that any conflict shall be construed in favor of implementing this chapter and chapters 1 and 5 of this title and repealing the conflicting law.
  3. Nothing in this chapter and chapters 1 and 5 of this title shall be construed as affecting the operation or existence of boards, commissions, committees or other agencies of local government except as necessary to avoid conflict with express provisions hereof.

Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 40, 41; T.C.A., § 5-655.

Chapter 7
County Buildings and Property

5-7-101. County powers generally.

Each county may acquire and hold property for county purposes, and make all contracts necessary or expedient for the management, control and improvement thereof, and for the better exercise of its civil and political powers, and may make any order for the disposition of its property.

Code 1858, § 404; Shan., § 496; mod. Code 1932, § 742; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-701.

Cross-References. Airports and landing fields, acquisition authorized, title 42, ch. 5, part 1.

Asylums for the poor, title 71, ch. 5, part 21.

Detention places for persons under quarantine, § 68-10-108.

Exemption of county property from taxation, § 67-5-203.

Forestry purposes, acquisition of lands, § 11-23-101.

Industrial Building Bond Act of 1955, title 7, ch. 55.

Industrial development corporations, title 7, ch. 53.

Lease of buildings and facilities authorized, title 12, ch. 2, part 3.

Power to erect and control county buildings, § 5-5-121.

Recreation systems, title 11, ch. 24.

Transportation systems, ownership authorized, title 7, ch. 56, part 1.

Utility location, title 13, ch. 24, part 3.

Veterans' memorials, title 58, ch. 4, part 2.

Attorney General Opinions. County hospital board of trustees' authority to sell hospital, OAG 98-0119, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 119 (7/2/98).

Authorization of the county commission is required for the sale of property of the county board of hospital directors; unless the county has adopted the County Purchasing Law of 1957, T.C.A. §§ 5-14-101, et seq., or the County Financial Management System of 1981, T.C.A. §§ 5-21-101, et seq., the commission may authorize the purchasing and finance commission to sell the property without advertising for bids, OAG 03-131, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 149 (10/03/03).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Acquisition of Property.

Counties are vested with power to acquire property for county purposes, and the grants and conveyances therefore are required to be made to the county acquiring the same. Ledbetter v. Clarksville & R. Turnpike Co., 110 Tenn. 92, 73 S.W. 117, 1902 Tenn. LEXIS 42 (1903), overruled in part, Knierim v. Leatherwood, 542 S.W.2d 806, 1976 Tenn. LEXIS 521 (Tenn. 1976).

2. Contracts to Pay Interest on Warrants.

The provisions of this section confer upon the county power through the county legislative body, to make contracts for the payment of interest on county warrants, after their registration by the trustee, until there is money in the treasury to pay the same. Davidson County v. Olwill, 72 Tenn. 28, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1879).

3. Contracts to Release from Taxation.

The county legislative body has no authority to contract for the release of county taxation, or the exemption therefrom, even to induce a nonresident to build a railroad, and its attempt to do so is void. Nashville & K. R. Co. v. Wilson County, 89 Tenn. 597, 15 S.W. 446, 1890 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1891).

4. Leases of County Property.

There is no authority for lease of space in registry room in courthouse. Shelby County v. Memphis Abstract Co., 140 Tenn. 74, 203 S.W. 339, 1918 Tenn. LEXIS 22, L.R.A. (n.s.) 1918E939 (1918).

County's contract to lease for a long period part of courthouse yard for purpose of building and operating a filling station was ultra vires. Henry v. Grainger County, 154 Tenn. 576, 290 S.W. 2, 1926 Tenn. LEXIS 155 (1926).

5. Use of County Property.

Permissive use of “inner circle” of county courthouse yard for public parking and fact that city paved such area and erected parking meters therein did not amount to a dedication by implication of such area for street purposes in absence of unequivocal proof that county intended to dedicate such area for that purpose. Rutherford County v. Murfreesboro, 43 Tenn. App. 489, 309 S.W.2d 778, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 132 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

County did not lose control over land in “inner circle” of courthouse yard by reason of acquiescence of certain county officials in parking of automobiles in such area or by reason of erection of parking meters in such area by city without consent of county, and county had right to require city to remove parking meters and/or to exclude parking from such area. Rutherford County v. Murfreesboro, 43 Tenn. App. 489, 309 S.W.2d 778, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 132 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

Collateral References.

Liability of governmental entity for issuance of permit for construction which caused or accelerated flooding. 62 A.L.R.3d 514.

5-7-102. Grants for use of county.

All deeds, conveyances or grants that have been, or may be, made to any officer or person for the use or benefit of the county, vest in such county the title as fully as if made to such county by name, but such conveyances hereafter shall be made to the county.

Code 1858, § 407 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 34, § 5); Shan., § 499; Code 1932, § 745; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-702.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

Land for courthouse and courthouse yard acquired by commissioners appointed under Acts 1811, ch. 33 to lay out county seat for Rutherford County with authority to reserve area for public square and courthouse was vested in Rutherford County. Rutherford County v. Murfreesboro, 43 Tenn. App. 489, 309 S.W.2d 778, 1957 Tenn. App. LEXIS 132 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1957).

5-7-103. Sites for offices.

The county legislative body of every county, a majority of the members being present and voting for it, may purchase and hold suitable sites for offices of the county clerks, and such other county offices as may be deemed expedient by the legislative body.

Code 1858, § 409 (deriv. Acts 1839-1840, ch. 3, § 1); Shan., § 501; Code 1932, § 753; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-703.

5-7-104. Required structures.

It is the duty of the county legislative body to erect a courthouse, jail, and other necessary county buildings.

Code 1858, § 408; Shan., § 500; Code 1932, § 752; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-704.

Attorney General Opinions. County legislative bodies' responsibility to provide court facilities, OAG 99-049, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 50 (3/2/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Appeal from Order to Build Courthouse.

An appeal does not lie from an order of the county legislative body for the building of a courthouse. Carey v. Justices of Campbell County, 37 Tenn. 515, 1858 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1858).

2. Implied Powers.

The statutory power of a county, or its county legislative body, to erect a courthouse does not imply a power to issue unimpeachable negotiable bonds in payment thereof, though the power to issue vouchers for payment is necessarily implied. Claiborne County v. Brooks, 111 U.S. 400, 4 S. Ct. 489, 28 L. Ed. 470, 1884 U.S. LEXIS 1799 (1884).

5-7-105. Location of county buildings and courthouse, jail, workhouse and county highway department garage — Interlocal agreements.

  1. The courthouse and all county buildings provided by the county for the county officers shall be erected within the limits of the county town; provided, that the jail and county highway department garage may be erected outside the limits of the county town but within the boundaries of the county; and provided further, that if two (2) or more counties enter into an interlocal agreement providing for a jail or workhouse to serve the counties that are parties to the agreement, then a county that is a party to such an agreement shall not be required to have a jail or workhouse located within the boundaries of the county, but any jail or workhouse serving more than one (1) county shall be located within the boundaries of one (1) of the counties that is a party to the agreement.
  2. Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing or prohibiting a county that has constructed a criminal justice building or facility, or that uses a building or facility, that is not located within the limits of the county seat, from holding criminal court in that building or facility; provided, that it is located within the limits of the county. If the building or facility is used to hold criminal court, a defendant may be indicted, prosecuted, tried and convicted in that building or facility as if done at the courthouse.

Code 1858, § 410; Shan., § 502; Code 1932, § 754; Acts 1975, ch. 10, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-705; Acts 1980, ch. 853, § 1; 1982, ch. 782, § 1; 1990, ch. 955, § 1; 1992, ch. 847, § 1; 1995, ch. 254, §§ 1, 2; 1999, ch. 190, § 1; 2006, ch. 630, § 1.

Attorney General Opinions. Location of county buildings outside city limits of county seat town, OAG 03-060, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 78 (5/06/03).

Unless expressly authorized by T.C.A. §§ 16-2-106 through 16-2-402 [partially repealed] or a private act, neither a general sessions nor a circuit court may regularly hold its sessions outside the city limits of the county seat, OAG 05-122 (8/8/05).

5-7-106. Construction and maintenance costs — Tax levy.

The county buildings are to be erected and kept in order and repair at the expense of the county, under the direction of the county legislative body, and it may levy a special tax for this purpose.

Code 1858, § 411; Shan., § 503; Code 1932, § 755; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-706.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Appeal from Order to Build Courthouse.

An appeal does not lie from an order of the county legislative body for the building of a courthouse. Carey v. Justices of Campbell County, 37 Tenn. 515, 1858 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1858).

2. Special Tax.

The levy of a special tax by the county legislative body must show its purpose, or it will be void, and a distress warrant issued to collect such tax may be superseded and quashed. Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 115 Tenn. 526, 92 S.W. 238, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1906); Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 50 (1906).

Where the lawful purpose of a special levy of taxes is so confused with the unlawful purpose that the valid cannot be separated from the invalid, the whole is void. Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 115 Tenn. 526, 92 S.W. 238, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 85 (1906).

3. —Court Costs.

Code provisions relating to the duty of the county legislative body to erect a courthouse and to keep it in a state of repair and authorizing the levy of a special tax for that purpose did not authorize the levy of a special tax for court costs. Storie v. Norman, 174 Tenn. 647, 130 S.W.2d 101, 1938 Tenn. LEXIS 134 (1939).

4. —Courthouse Improvements.

The county legislative body may levy a special tax for vault and water-closet improvements for the courthouse. Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 50 (1906).

5. Improper Use of Tax Revenues.

Where a special levy for “jail tax” was valid under this section, the fact that the proceeds therefrom may have been paid out irregularly did not affect the validity of the levy. Storie v. Norman, 174 Tenn. 647, 130 S.W.2d 101, 1938 Tenn. LEXIS 134 (1939).

Levy for jail purposes was void where it was intention of county legislative body to apply proceeds to general fund. State ex rel. Campbell County v. Delinquent Taxpayers of 1939, 183 Tenn. 64, 191 S.W.2d 153, 1945 Tenn. LEXIS 273 (1945).

6. Custody of Courthouse.

Sections 5-7-106 and 5-7-108, when read together, indicate that the sheriff as custodian of the courthouse is a mere agent or administrator of the county legislative body and must report from time to time to the county legislative body such repairs as are required and must obtain the authorization of the county legislative body for any major repairs. Driver v. Thompson, 49 Tenn. App. 646, 358 S.W.2d 477, 1962 Tenn. App. LEXIS 84 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1962).

There is neither express nor implied authority for the sheriff to dictate to the other elected officials of the county what space they shall occupy in the courthouse and other matters affecting them in the discharge of their official duties as this is peculiarly a function of the county legislative body as to matters in its jurisdiction. Driver v. Thompson, 49 Tenn. App. 646, 358 S.W.2d 477, 1962 Tenn. App. LEXIS 84 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1962).

5-7-107. Employment of superintendent.

The county legislative body is authorized, but not required, to employ a competent person to superintend the construction and repair of such county buildings, bridges, levees, etc., as may be necessary; the superintendent to be paid such salary as may be agreed upon, out of the county treasury, but no contract to continue longer than twelve (12) months.

Acts 1877, ch. 105, § 1; Shan., § 6048; Code 1932, § 10253; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-707.

5-7-108. Courthouse — Sheriff's power and duties.

    1. The sheriff has charge of the courthouse, unless some other person is specially appointed by the county legislative body for that purpose, and shall prevent trespasses, exclude intruders, and keep it and the grounds attached thereto in order, reporting from time to time the repairs required, and the expense, to the county legislative body.
    2. Beginning July 1, 2008, deputy sheriffs newly assigned to courts pursuant to §§ 8-8-201(a)(2)(A), 16-15-715, and 37-1-213 shall participate in forty (40) hours of basic training in courthouse security within twelve (12) months of assignment to that duty. Every year thereafter the deputies shall participate in a minimum of sixteen (16) hours of training specific to courthouse security that has been approved by the peace officers standards and training commission.
  1. It is further the duty of the sheriff to see that the state and national flags as provided for in § 5-7-109 are properly displayed in each courtroom while such county legislative body is in session.

Code 1858, § 413; Shan., § 505; Code 1932, § 757; Acts 1961, ch. 244, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-708; Acts 2008, ch. 1152, § 1.

Textbooks. Tennessee Criminal Practice and Procedure (Raybin), § 24.32.

Tennessee Jurisprudence, 24 Tenn. Juris., Vendor and Purchaser, § 3.

Attorney General Opinions. Courthouse security, OAG 97-117, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 150 (9/02/97).

Although T.C.A. § 16-2-505(d)(2) does not expressly authorize the court security committee to adopt any measures with regard to courthouse security, it is reasonable to infer that the committee may put into effect security measures affecting the security of space and facilities provided to state trial judges, so long as these measures do not require county expenditures; these measures may affect general sessions courtrooms and personnel, as well as the personnel of other offices located in the courthouse, if the measures are reasonably related to ensuring security of space and facilities provided to state trial judges, OAG 02-052, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 72 (4/24/02).

County security officers employed as campus, housing, airport and other local security officers, are required to be certified under T.C.A. § 5-7-118, OAG 03-095, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 111 (7/28/03).

Appointment of court officer authorized to carry weapon in courtrooms; required training, qualifications, etc.  OAG 10-77, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 83 (6/1/10).

POST certification of bailiffs and court officers.  OAG 10-107, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 113 (10/28/10).

County courthouse security and dress rules.  OAG 12-107, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 111 (11/26/12).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

Custody or charge of courthouse is given to the sheriff or some other person specially appointed by the county legislative body. Ferriss v. Williamson, 67 Tenn. 424, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 393 (1874).

2. Limited Authority.

Sections 5-7-106 and 5-7-108, when read together, indicate that the sheriff as custodian of the courthouse is a mere agent or administrator of the county legislative body and must report from time to time to the county legislative body such repairs as are required and must obtain the authorization of the county legislative body for any major repairs. Driver v. Thompson, 49 Tenn. App. 646, 358 S.W.2d 477, 1962 Tenn. App. LEXIS 84 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1962).

There is neither express nor implied authority for the sheriff to dictate to the other elected officials of the county what space they shall occupy in the courthouse and other matters affecting them in the discharge of their official duties as this is peculiarly a function of the county legislative body as to matters in its jurisdiction. Driver v. Thompson, 49 Tenn. App. 646, 358 S.W.2d 477, 1962 Tenn. App. LEXIS 84 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1962).

3. Office of Register of Deeds.

Agents and employees of abstract companies, while entitled to examine and copy any records in the office of a register of deeds, are subject to such reasonable regulations as the county register may prescribe, and they may be excluded by the sheriff upon failure to obey such reasonable rules and regulations. Shelby County v. Memphis Abstract Co., 140 Tenn. 74, 203 S.W. 339, 1918 Tenn. LEXIS 22, L.R.A. (n.s.) 1918E939 (1918).

4. Janitor.

The county legislative body may create the office of janitor for the courthouse, and annually elect someone to fill the same, with a salary attached, to be paid by warrant issued by the county executive (now county mayor). Such janitor is to perform the duties imposed on sheriffs in regard to the care, custody and protection of courthouses and the grounds attached, and the sheriff is thereby relieved of them. Ferriss v. Williamson, 67 Tenn. 424, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 393 (1874).

5-7-109. Flags.

  1. Any county mayor of any county whose courthouse is equipped with a flag pole shall have the right to request and be furnished with a flag of the state of Tennessee, which flag shall be displayed by the county authority upon proper occasions.
  2. Any county mayor desiring such state flag shall certify in such county mayor's official capacity that:
    1. The courthouse of the county of which that person is county mayor is duly equipped with a flag pole suitable for displaying such state flag; and
    2. If such state flag is furnished such county, the county authorities agree and obligate themselves to display the same upon all national and state holidays and other days set apart by law for patriotic purposes.
  3. Such request shall be forwarded to the adjutant general of the state, who shall thereupon furnish the county with such state flag, to be approximately six feet (6') in length and four feet (4') in width, and from the funds appropriated for the adjutant general's department, the adjutant general is authorized to procure as many state flags as may be necessary; provided, that not more than one (1) such state flag shall be furnished to any county; provided further, that no county shall be entitled to receive a second flag where the one originally furnished it has been destroyed by the elements or other casualties.
  4. It is the duty of the county mayor of each and every county obtaining a state flag under this section to see that the same is displayed upon all legal holidays, either state or national, and upon all other days set apart for patriotic observance.
  5. Every county shall provide a flag of the United States and a flag of the state of Tennessee to be displayed in the courtroom of every court of record of the county while such court is in session.

Acts 1937 (3rd Ex. Sess.), ch. 20, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 102.1 (Williams, § 771.1); Acts 1961, ch. 244, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-709; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-7-110. Jail specifications.

  1. The county jail shall be of sufficient size and strength to contain and keep securely the inmates confined therein, and shall contain at least two (2) apartments, one (1) for males and one (1) for females.
  2. The county jail shall be properly heated and ventilated, and have sufficient sewerage to ensure the health and comfort of the inmates.

Code 1858, § 412; Acts 1873, ch. 104, § 1; Shan., § 504; Code 1932, § 756; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-710.

Cross-References. Safe and comfortable prisons, Tenn. Const., art. I, § 32.

5-7-111. Replacement of courthouse or jail — Authorization.

Whenever, in the opinion of a majority of the members of the county legislative body, two thirds (2/3) of them being present, the site of a jail or public prison, or courthouse, is unhealthy, insecure or inconvenient in its location to the county or to the town, or inhabitants of the town, in which it is situated, or the interest and convenience of the town would be promoted by the removal of any of the same, the members may order a sale of the site, and of the whole or part of the materials used in its construction; and they may also order that a more eligible, convenient, healthy or secure site be purchased, and cause to be erected thereon a new jail or courthouse, better suited to the convenience of the town, and to secure the safe custody, health and comfort of inmates.

Code 1858, § 414 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 34, § 1; 1837-1838, ch. 11, § 1); Shan., § 506; Code 1932, § 758; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-711.

Cross-References. Sale of courthouse on removal of county seat, § 5-4-105.

5-7-112. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-7-112 (Code 1858, § 415 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 34, § 3); Shan., § 507; Code 1932, § 759; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; Acts 1979, ch. 12, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-712), concerning the appointment and duties of project superintendents, was repealed by Acts 2002, ch. 690, § 1, effective July 1, 2002.

5-7-113. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-7-113 (Code 1858, § 416 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 34, § 5); Shan., § 508; Code 1932, § 760; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-713), concerning the project superintendent's oath, was repealed by Acts 2002, ch. 690, § 2, effective July 1, 2002.

5-7-114. Replacement of courthouse or jail — Deed conveying old site.

Any deed of conveyance of the old site of the prison or courthouse, made by the project superintendents, duly proved or acknowledged and registered, shall be effectual to vest a valid title in the purchaser.

Code 1858, § 417 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 34, § 4); Shan., § 509; Code 1932, § 761; Acts 1979, ch. 12, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-714.

5-7-115. Authority for county governments to display historic documents on public buildings and grounds.

Each county is authorized to display, in county public buildings and on county public grounds, replicas of historical documents, including, but not limited to, the Ten Commandments, Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, Constitution of Tennessee, and other such historically significant documents in the form of statues, monuments, memorials, tablets, or any other display that respects the dignity and solemnity of such documents.

Acts 2012, ch. 686, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-7-115 (Acts 1951, ch. 137, § 4; 1953, ch. 218, § 1 (Williams, § 4406.53d); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-715), concerning industrial buildings, was repealed by Acts 1988, ch. 750, § 1.

For the preamble to the act authorizing local governments to display historic documents, please refer to Acts 2012, ch. 686.

Cross-References. Authority for municipalities to display historic documents on buildings and grounds, § 6-54-110.

5-7-116. Leasing.

Each county may lease land or existing buildings owned by the county to any person, corporation, partnership or association for such consideration and upon such terms as in the judgment of the governing body are in the interest of the county.

Acts 1983, ch. 233, § 1.

Attorney General Opinions. County’s authority to impose ticket surcharge at county agricultural center.  OAG 14-43, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 47 (4/7/14).

5-7-117. County operating water utility system — Transfer of system to utility district — Procedure.

  1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any county operating a water utility system pursuant to previous transfer or merger under the authority of title 7, chapter 82, or operating under private acts, or otherwise, may by resolution agree to transfer all or any part of such water system to a utility district having all or part of its official territory within the county, which utility district was either previously formed or formed for the purpose of receiving transfer of such system; provided, that the resolution must contain a provision requiring the protection of all rights of bondholders, and must specifically state all other conditions to the transfer that may be imposed by the county legislative body, and such resolution must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of such county legislative body.
  2. Before voting to sell, transfer, convey or set over such system, the county legislative body shall cause notices to be mailed to all customers of such county water system or the part thereof intended to be transferred, and shall provide such customers an opportunity to testify in a public hearing, the date of which shall be fixed in such notice.
  3. When all conditions of such resolution shall have been met, the county mayor and president of the utility district shall sign an addendum to the contract, identifying the county and the utility district resolutions of which the contract consists, certifying that all conditions therein have been met, and shall cause such addendum to be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county at the expense of the utility district, upon which publication the transfer shall thereupon be consummated by operation of law without the need for the execution of any instruments of transfer.

Acts 1991, ch. 228, § 2; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Agreement by utility district to transfer of water utility system from county, § 7-82-109.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-7-118. County security officers — Standards — Police powers.

  1. The county mayor or the county mayor's designee is authorized to establish policies pursuant to which a suitable number of persons may be employed and commissioned as county security officers.
  2. All security officers employed pursuant to this section must meet the minimum certification requirements of the peace officers standards and training commission.
  3. The county mayor or the county mayor's designee is authorized to establish such other minimum qualifications for employment as security officers as deemed appropriate; however, the qualifications for security officers permitted to carry firearms or other arms while on duty shall be at least equivalent to the certification requirements of the peace officers standards and training commission.
  4. When properly commissioned and qualified in accordance with the policies of the county mayor or the county mayor's designee, the security officers shall have all the police powers necessary to enforce all state laws and duly enacted county ordinances. The authority hereby granted extends to all facilities or property owned, leased or operated by the county.
  5. This section only applies in any county having a population in excess of eight hundred thousand (800,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Acts 1996, ch. 716, § 2; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. County security officers employed as campus, housing, airport and other local security officers, are required to be certified under T.C.A. § 5-7-118, OAG 03-095, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 111 (7/28/03).

5-7-119. County authorized to dispose of real property at nominal cost to certain nonprofit corporations.

Notwithstanding any rule, regulation or other law to the contrary, any county, upon two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body, may dispose of real property at a nominal cost by private negotiation and sale to a nonprofit corporation, incorporated under the laws of this state, that has received a determination of exemption from the internal revenue service pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3), and whose purpose includes providing educational and vocational training services to children and adults with disabilities or whose purpose includes providing educational services to youth in areas, including health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement through in-school and after-school programs, and school and community clubs and camps.

Acts 2014, ch. 635, § 1; 2020, ch. 721, § 1.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment inserted “or whose purpose includes providing educational services to youth in areas, including health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement through in-school and after-school programs, and school and community clubs and camps.” at the end of the section.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 721, § 2. June 22, 2020.

Chapter 8
Receipt and Management of Funds

Part 1
General Provisions

5-8-101. Sources of county revenue — Gifts and donations.

  1. County revenue is derived from taxes on property, privileges, litigation, merchants, peddlers; from fines and forfeitures; and from money remaining unclaimed more than two (2) years in clerks' offices.
  2. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a county is authorized to accept and receive gifts and donations of money, intangible personal property, tangible personal property and real property. If any such gift or donation is offered subject to conditional or restrictive terms, then the gift must be accepted by majority vote of the county legislative body and must be used by the county subject to the terms of such conditions or restrictions. If an unrestricted gift or donation of money is accepted and received, then such money must be deposited in the county general fund and must be appropriated and expended in accordance with county budgetary procedures. If an unrestricted gift or donation of personal or real property is accepted and received, and if the property is subsequently leased or sold, then the proceeds from such lease or sale must be deposited in the county general fund and must be appropriated in accordance with county budgetary procedures.

Code 1858, § 482; Shan., § 644; mod. Code 1932, § 1035; impl. am. Acts 1963, ch. 14, § 1; Acts 1979, ch. 23, § 5; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-801; Acts 1999, ch. 109, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. This section may be affected by the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act compiled in title 66, ch. 29.

Cross-References. Annual audit, § 4-3-304.

Audit of local records, title 9, ch. 3, part 2.

County taxes paid under protest, § 67-1-912.

Highways, state funds for local aid, title 54, ch. 4.

Local Option Revenue Act, title 67, ch. 6, part 7.

Taxes and licenses, title 67.

Law Reviews.

Tax Limitations of Counties and Municipalities (M. P. O'Connor), 12 Tenn. L. Rev. 174 (1934).

Attorney General Opinions. Inability to use wheel tax revenues to fund waste disposal, OAG 99-137, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 171 (7/22/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Tax on Land Sales.

Since, in specifying the sources of county revenue, “privileges” are specified, but “land sales” are omitted and since land sales are not taxed by the state as privileges, but a specific tax is levied on them, the levy of a tax upon privileges in general terms by the county does not embrace a tax upon land sales. Clarke v. Montague & Case, 71 Tenn. 274, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 75 (1879).

5-8-102. Privilege tax — Motor vehicle tax.

  1. Privilege Taxes Authorized.  Each county is empowered to levy privilege taxes upon merchants and such other vocations, occupations or businesses as are declared to be privileges, not exceeding in amount that levied by the state for state purposes.
  2. Motor Vehicle Tax — Authorization.  Each county is empowered to levy for county purposes by action of its governing body a motor vehicle privilege tax as a condition precedent to the operation of a motor vehicle within the county. The tax may be levied on any motor vehicle taxable by the state.
  3. Motor Vehicle Tax — Imposition.
    1. No resolution authorizing such motor vehicle privilege tax shall take effect unless it is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body at two (2) consecutive, regularly scheduled meetings or unless it is approved by a majority of the number of qualified voters of the county voting in an election on the question of whether or not the tax should be levied.
      1. Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2)(B), if there is a petition of registered voters amounting to ten percent (10%) of the votes cast in the county in the last gubernatorial election that is filed with the county election commission within thirty (30) days of final approval of such resolution by the county legislative body, then the county election commission shall call an election on the question of whether or not the tax should be levied in accordance with this section.
      2. In any county having a population of not less than eight hundred twenty-five thousand (825,000) nor more than eight hundred thirty thousand (830,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, if there is a petition of ten percent (10%) of the qualified voters who voted in the county in the last gubernatorial election that is filed with the county election commission within thirty (30) days of final approval of such resolution by the county legislative body, then the county election commission shall call an election on the question of whether or not the tax should be levied in accordance with this section.
    2. The local governing body shall direct the county election commission to call such election to be held in a regular election or in a special election for the purpose of approving or rejecting such tax levy.
    3. The ballots used in such election shall have printed on them the substance of such resolution and the voters shall vote for or against its approval.
    4. The votes cast on the question shall be canvassed and the results proclaimed by the county election commission and certified by it to the local governing body.
    5. The qualifications of voters voting on the question shall be the same as those required for participation in general elections.
    6. All laws applicable to general elections shall apply to the determination of the approval or rejection of this tax levy.
  4. Motor Vehicle Tax — Requirements and Limitations.
    1. Any disabled veteran who has one hundred percent (100%) permanent total disability from a service-connected cause or any former prisoner-of-war, as determined by the United States veterans administration, is exempt from the motor vehicle privilege tax imposed by this section or by private act upon submission of evidence of such disability to the officer in the county charged with the responsibility for collecting such tax.
    2. In each county that has levied or may hereafter levy a motor vehicle privilege tax under either this chapter or by private act, the duration or term for which the privilege is issued, method of collection, proration of the amount chargeable for a period of either more or less than a calendar year interval, and the grace period allowable shall be the same as that provided for in § 55-4-104 for payment of state motor vehicle registration fees for all such vehicles described in that section. During the period of transition from the current collection procedure and tax interval to the alternate interval method, each county shall use the same system of fee proration for applicable vehicles as that applied by the state during its transitional period. No resolution of the local governing body or election on the question by qualified voters of the county is required for implementation of these specific provisions.
    3. In each county that has levied or may hereafter levy a motor vehicle privilege tax under either this chapter or by private act, the county legislative body shall determine by resolution whether a resident who operates a motor vehicle in the county shall have a decal or emblem affixed upon the motor vehicle as evidence of compliance and, if a decal or emblem is required by the county legislative body, the place on the motor vehicle at which it shall be affixed. Any person who fails to display the decal or emblem required by a county legislative body under this subdivision (d)(3) commits a Class C misdemeanor. However,  § 7-51-702, concerning nonresident motorists, shall remain in effect.
    4. Any OEM headquarters company may make application to the commissioner of revenue to be exempt from the motor vehicle privilege tax imposed by this section or by private act; provided, however, that the exemption granted under this subdivision (d)(4) shall apply only with respect to OEM headquarters company vehicles. For purposes of this subdivision (d)(4), “OEM headquarters company” and “OEM headquarters company vehicle” have the same meaning as provided in title 55, chapter 1.
      1. For purposes of this subdivision (d)(5), “antique motor vehicle” means any antique motor vehicle, as defined in § 55-4-111, for which a permanent antique motor vehicle registration plate has been or is issued pursuant to § 55-4-111(b) and title 55, chapter 4, part 2.
      2. In each county that has levied or may levy a motor vehicle privilege tax under either this chapter or by private act, the county may, by action of its governing body, either:
        1. Exempt any owner of an antique motor vehicle who resides in the county from liability for the tax; or
        2. In lieu of paying the tax annually, require any owner of an antique motor vehicle who resides in the county to pay the tax on a one-time-only basis upon issuance of a permanent decal or other device pursuant to subdivision (d)(5)(D).
      3. No resolution authorizing an exemption pursuant to subdivision (d)(5)(B)(i) or requiring the one-time payment of the tax pursuant to subdivision (d)(5)(B)(ii), whichever is applicable, shall take effect unless it is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body at two (2) consecutive, regularly scheduled meetings or unless it is approved by a majority of the number of qualified voters of the county voting in an election conducted in accordance with subsection (c) on the question of whether or not owners should be exempted from the tax or liable for the one-time payment of the tax, whichever is applicable.
        1. In any county that approves a resolution requiring the payment of a one-time tax pursuant to subdivision (d)(5)(B)(ii), any owner who has been previously issued a decal or other device evidencing payment of the tax pursuant to this chapter or by private act and any owner who applies for initial issuance of such a decal or device shall be entitled to issuance of a permanent decal or other device upon payment of a one-time-only tax and the fee imposed by subdivision (d)(5)(D)(iii).
        2. The permanent decal or other device shall be nonrenewable and nontransferable and shall be valid so long as the permanent antique motor vehicle registration plate issued to the owner is valid pursuant to § 55-4-111(b)(2).
        3. The county clerk may charge a one-time-only fee for the initial issuance of the permanent decal or other device in an amount sufficient to defray the costs of implementing this subdivision (d)(5)(D).
    5. A veteran or active-duty service member of the armed services is exempt from the motor vehicle privilege tax imposed by this section or by private act for a motor vehicle sold, given, or donated to the veteran or service member if:
      1. The veteran or service member has a service-connected disability as described in 38 U.S.C. § 3901;
      2. The veteran or service member receives a grant from the United States department of veterans affairs, pursuant to 38 U.S.C. §§ 3901-3904; and
      3. The grant is used to provide or assist in providing the vehicle to the veteran or service member.

Acts 1915, ch. 101, § 2; Shan., § 1916a1; Code 1932, § 3329; modified; Acts 1976, ch. 618, § 1; 1977, ch. 76, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-802; Acts 1983, ch. 409, § 1; 1984, ch. 510, § 1; 1984, ch. 773, § 1; 1985, ch. 42, § 1; 1986, ch. 530, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1993, ch. 518, §§ 17, 21; 2009, ch. 530, § 126; 2014, ch. 547, § 1; 2018, ch. 541, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2018, ch. 541, § 4 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall apply to any vehicle sold, given, or donated to a veteran or active-duty service member on or after March 5, 2018.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment added (d)(6).

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 541, § 4. March 5, 2018.

Cross-References. Collection of motor vehicle fees, § 7-51-703.

Local Option Revenue Act, title 67, ch. 6, part 7.

Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Privilege and excise taxes, title 67, ch. 4.

Registration plates furnished by department, § 55-4-103.

Renewal certificates of registration and registration plates, § 55-4-105.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 26; 17 Tenn. Juris., Licenses, § 5.

Attorney General Opinions. Constitutionality of public and private acts authorizing county tax and exemptions, OAG 85-199, 1985 Tenn. AG LEXIS 96 (6/19/85).

Constitutionality of county wheel tax, OAG 87-142, 1987 Tenn. AG LEXIS 59 (8/21/87).

Referenda elections frequency, OAG 91-71 (8/1/91).

Wheel tax; voting requirements to sign referendum petition, OAG 91-102, 1991 Tenn. AG LEXIS 112 (12/23/91).

Maximum county wheel tax authorized by statute, OAG 96-098 (7/31/96).

County wheel tax not limited by § 67-1-602, OAG 97-109, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 142 (8/06/97).

Under T.C.A. § 5-8-102, county legislative body can choose between (1) approving a wheel-tax resolution by two-thirds vote at two consecutive, regularly scheduled meetings, subject to the voters’ ability to petition for a referendum on the wheel tax, or (2) by a simple majority vote directing that the wheel tax issue be decided directly by the voters in an election, rather than by the county legislative body itself, OAG 08-171, 2008 Tenn. AG LEXIS 193 (11/5/08).

Validity of petition for referendum on county “Wheel Tax”.  OAG 11-1, 2011 Tenn. AG LEXIS 1 (1/4/11).

Authority to choose vehicles subject to wheel tax under T.C.A. § 5-8-102(b); rates for different vehicles; exemptions from tax.  OAG 12-18, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 18 (2/22/12).

When a county has imposed a motor vehicle privilege tax under the authority of T.C.A.  § 5-8-102, the rate of that tax may be increased or decreased only by following the procedure set out in § 5-8-102(c)., which requires a two-thirds majority vote at two consecutive, regularly-scheduled meetings. OAG 15-29, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (4/1/15).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

Where the trial judge allowed the county commission to continue collecting the moneys levied under their initial resolution until new election was held for voters to approve or disapprove the tax, the disposition of any such moneys collected was a matter to be determined by court on remand. Brackin v. Sumner County, 814 S.W.2d 57, 1991 Tenn. LEXIS 292 (Tenn. 1991).

2. Motor Vehicles.

There is nothing in the Motor Vehicle and Title Registration Law (title 55, chs. 1-6) that would prevent a county from levying a privilege tax on motor vehicles. Adkins v. Robertson County, 201 Tenn. 596, 301 S.W.2d 337, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 340 (1957).

Sections 6-55-501 and 6-55-502, restricting the right of municipalities to tax motor vehicles, do not apply to counties. Adkins v. Robertson County, 201 Tenn. 596, 301 S.W.2d 337, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 340 (1957).

3. Void Election.

Trial judge was correct in voiding referendum election and directing the call of a new election on the question of whether eight votes were not counted as a result of a machine malfunction. Brackin v. Sumner County, 814 S.W.2d 57, 1991 Tenn. LEXIS 292 (Tenn. 1991).

5-8-103. Exempt or taxable property, privileges.

The property and privileges that are taxable or exempt from taxation, for county purposes, are the same that are taxable or exempt from taxation for state revenue.

Code 1858, § 483; Shan., § 645; Code 1932, § 1036; Acts 1979, ch. 23, § 6; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-803.

Cross-References. Privilege taxes, exemptions, § 67-4-102.

Property taxes, exemptions, title 67, ch. 5, part 2.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Construction.

This section is not a general authority to counties to levy taxes, but is only that part of the revenue laws indicating generally what is liable to taxation for county purposes. Gibson County v. Pullman S. Car Co., 42 F. 572, 1890 U.S. App. LEXIS 2208 (C.C.D. Tenn. 1890).

2. Tax Exemptions.

Counties possess no jurisdiction or powers but those conferred by statute, and there is no statute authorizing them to exempt or release county taxes on railroad property, and any attempt to do so by them is void. Nashville & K. R. Co. v. Wilson County, 89 Tenn. 597, 15 S.W. 446, 1890 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1891).

The general assembly cannot confer upon the county the power to create exemptions from taxation not authorized by the constitution. Nashville & K. R. Co. v. Wilson County, 89 Tenn. 597, 15 S.W. 446, 1890 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1891).

5-8-104. Fines applied to county use.

Fines, amercements, forfeitures, and recoveries in prosecutions for offenses below the grade of petit larceny, shall be applied to the use of the county where they originate.

Code 1858, § 486 (deriv. Acts 1835-1836, ch. 55, § 2); Shan., § 646; Code 1932, § 1037; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-804.

Cross-References. Fines accruing to state, § 40-24-106.

Attorney General Opinions. Remittance of fines and forfeitures from state misdemeanors, OAG 99-174, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 134 (9/9/99).

5-8-105. Fines adjudged by general sessions judges.

Fines and forfeitures arising in pursuance of the judgment of any judge of the court of general sessions, on any penal statute, shall belong to the county.

Code 1858, § 487 (deriv. Acts 1815, ch. 131, § 1); Shan., § 647; Code 1932, § 1038; impl. am. Acts 1979, ch. 68, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-805.

Attorney General Opinions. Remittance of fines and forfeitures from state misdemeanors, OAG 99-174, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 134 (9/9/99).

5-8-106. Revenue docket.

A book, to be called the revenue docket, shall be kept by the county clerk, in which the county clerk shall record all the sources of the county revenue, whether consisting of taxes upon property, or upon sales of merchandise and patent medicines, or on the exercise of privileges, or of fines and forfeitures, or otherwise.

Code 1858, § 495; Shan., § 653; Code 1932, § 1052; impl. am. Acts 1963, ch. 14, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1973, ch. 226, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-806.

Cross-References. Entry of appropriations and allowances, § 5-9-304.

5-8-107. Use of revenue, generally.

  1. Any revenue of a county, the use of which is not otherwise expressly restricted, and that is derived from taxes levied by the state and distributed to the various counties, from which taxes the cities likewise receive a portion thereof from the state collection, and any revenue of a county derived solely from taxes on privileges exercised in that county outside the corporate limits of any city, may be spent in such manner as the local governing body of each county shall direct, including, but not limited to, the retirement of bonds issued by such county, regardless of the obligation recited in the bond issue for the servicing and retirement thereof.
  2. This section shall not affect municipal revenues.

Acts 1959, ch. 162, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-835.

5-8-108. Authority to seek and use public funds.

Counties of this state, acting through their appropriate governing bodies, have the power and are authorized to apply for, receive and disburse for public purposes grants, loans and funds from the federal and state governments or any department or agency thereof authorized to administer grant, loan or similar programs.

Acts 1975, ch. 153, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-836.

Cross-References. Appropriation and disbursement of county funds, title 5, ch. 9.

Part 2
Bank Accounts

5-8-201. Deposits authorized — Finance committee — Securing of funds.

    1. The county legislative body in regular session assembled, a quorum being present, is authorized to adopt a resolution to contract with a bank or banks making the highest and best bid or bids to pay interest on daily balances of the county's funds; and to appoint three (3) of its members, who, in conjunction with the county trustee and county mayor, shall constitute the county finance committee, with the county mayor as chair of the committee.
    2. Before making any such contract, the trustee shall receive the bids from the banks and shall file an analysis of the bids that have been submitted with the county clerk who shall provide a copy of this report to each member of the county legislative body on or before the next meeting of the county legislative body. The analysis shall recommend the bank making the highest and best bid or bids to pay interest on daily balances of the county's funds, considering the lowest service charges, and considering other factors affecting safety and liquidity of county moneys.
  1. Any county shall require any financial institution that becomes a depository of county funds to secure such funds as provided in a collateral pool created under title 9, chapter 4, part 5, or in the same manner and under the same conditions as state deposits under title 9, chapter 4, parts 1 and 4.
  2. If the county finance committee does not have a contract with a bank or other financial institution, the county trustee may contract with a bank or banks or other financial institutions for deposit, safekeeping, and earning of interest on daily balances of the county's funds, according to the same terms as are required by this section for a county finance committee. Additionally, the county trustee is authorized to enter into such agreements with banks and other financial institutions as necessary for the maintenance of collateral to secure the daily balances of the county's funds on deposit with banks or other financial institutions.
  3. Notwithstanding any general law or private act to the contrary, at least once every four (4) years and not less than once every term of office, the county trustee shall evaluate whether the contract entered into pursuant to this section should be rebid. The evaluation shall be based on obtaining proposals from at least two (2) banks or other financial institutions. The trustee shall prepare a written evaluation of the proposals and preserve the evaluation for a period of not less than three (3) years.

Acts 1909, ch. 305, § 1; Shan., § 647a1; Code 1932, § 1039; Acts 1977, ch. 435, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, § 12; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-810; Acts 1992, ch. 592, §§ 1-5; 1993, ch. 315, §§ 9, 15; 1994, ch. 752, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2008, ch. 899, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Budget committee transfer of duties from finance committee, § 5-12-104.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Binding Effect of Contract.

Where finance committee contracted with bank to deposit all county funds for period of five years in consideration of bank's agreement to pay one dollar per year interest and to cash county warrants, holding some until county had funds for their discharge, county trustee was bound by resolution and contract, the latter being in accordance with statute authorizing contract with bank making best bid to pay interest on balance of funds deposited, and the term of the contract being for a reasonable period of time. State ex rel. Claiborne County Bank v. Runions, 193 Tenn. 71, 241 S.W.2d 918, 1951 Tenn. LEXIS 324 (1951).

2. Failure of Bank — Preference.

Where funds are raised by sale of bonds of a county and deposited in a bank, the county has no preferred claim on bank's failure. Cannon County v. McConnell, 152 Tenn. 555, 280 S.W. 24, 1925 Tenn. LEXIS 101 (1926).

5-8-202. Contracts — Execution and effect.

The finance committee, to carry out the will of the county legislative body, shall be vested with full power to formulate, make and sign a contract upon the terms and conditions specified, which contract shall be approved by the county mayor, and attested by the county clerk, with the county seal attached, on the part of the county, and shall be binding on the county.

Acts 1909, ch. 305, § 2; Shan., § 647a2; Code 1932, § 1040; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-811; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-8-203. Contracts — Notice to trustee.

When the contract has been signed on the part of the county, and also signed by the proper officers, on the part of the bank or banks under the seal thereof, and a good and sufficient bond has been executed by the bank or banks, for the faithful performance of the contract and to save the county harmless, the finance committee shall so notify the county trustee, in writing, and order the county trustee to place all funds already in the county trustee's hands or that may thereafter be collected by the county trustee on deposit in the bank or banks, noting the funds that shall draw interest and the amount thereof.

Acts 1909, ch. 305, § 3; Shan., § 647a3; Code 1932, § 1041; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-812.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Depository Bond as Continuing Obligation.

A depository bond given by a bank and its officers and stockholders to a clerk and master of a chancery court, “and his successors in office,” is a continuing obligation enforceable against the sureties for loss occurring during a subsequent term of such official, so long as the bank continued to receive deposits of such official, unless the sureties take steps to terminate their liability. Holmes v. Elder, 170 Tenn. 257, 94 S.W.2d 390, 1936 Tenn. LEXIS 11, 104 A.L.R. 1282 (1936).

5-8-204. Deposit of funds by trustee.

Upon the receipt of the notice and order specified in § 5-8-203, it is made the duty of the county trustee to place all funds in the notice in the bank or banks designated therein.

Acts 1909, ch. 305, § 4; Shan., § 647a4; Code 1932, § 1042; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-813.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. County Trustee Bound.

A county trustee was bound by a resolution adopted by the county pursuant to this part and by the contract entered into in accordance with that resolution. State ex rel. Claiborne County Bank v. Runions, 193 Tenn. 71, 241 S.W.2d 918, 1951 Tenn. LEXIS 324 (1951).

5-8-205. Liability of trustee.

From the date of the deposit, which shall be evidenced by the bank book, the county trustee shall be released from liability for losses to the county in consequence of the contract and deposit; but should the county trustee fail or refuse specifically to obey the order specified in § 5-8-203, the county trustee shall be held liable not only for the money collected and not so deposited, but for the interest on the funds mentioned in the contract, and as a penalty shall be liable for further interest equal in amount of the interest contracted for, all of which may be recovered by suit; and when collected the interest paid as penalty shall become the property of the contracting bank or banks, and the balance of the fund recovered, together with the cost, shall be paid to the county.

Acts 1909, ch. 305, § 5; Shan., § 647a5; Code 1932, § 1043; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-814.

5-8-206. Monthly statements.

Before the fifteenth of each month, each of the contracting banks shall render a statement to the county trustee, showing the balance on hand and the interest thereon due the county to the first of the month, and the county trustee shall, in the county trustee's monthly report to the county mayor, as required by § 67-5-1902(a), show the amount of the monthly balance as per bank statement, the interest to be placed by the trustee to the credit of the proper county fund.

Acts 1909, ch. 305, § 6; Shan., § 647a6; Code 1932, § 1044; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-815; Acts 1993, ch. 315, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-8-207. County officers — Securing funds — Mandatory accounts.

    1. Every county official handling public funds shall be required to maintain an official bank account in a bank or banks within this state, and shall, within three (3) days after the receipt by such county official of any public funds, deposit the funds to the credit of such county official's official bank account, or bank accounts. Each county official maintaining an official bank account is authorized to enter into such agreements with banks and other financial institutions as necessary for the maintenance of collateral to secure the funds on deposit; provided, that the deposit of county funds in banks or financial institutions by a county trustee shall be done in accordance with § 5-8-201.
    2. All funds deposited with a bank or other financial institution shall be secured by collateral in the same manner and under the same conditions as state deposits under title 9, chapter 4, parts 1 and 4, or as provided in a collateral pool created under title 9, chapter 4, part 5.
    3. This requirement shall not prohibit a county official handling public funds from maintaining a petty cash fund in an account sufficient for the transaction of the official business of such county official's office.
  1. Every county official handling public funds shall be required to make all disbursements of such public funds by consecutively prenumbered warrants or consecutively prenumbered checks drawn on such county official's official bank account or bank accounts.
  2. A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1953, ch. 43, §§ 1-3 (Williams, §§ 1902.4-1902.6); Acts 1977, ch. 118, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 5-816 — 5-818; 5-8-208, 5-8-209; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1993, ch. 315, § 16; 1994, ch. 752, § 2.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Attorney General Opinions. Inmate funds established by or for the benefit of the inmate while incarcerated and not collected for governmental or public purposes are private funds rather than public funds, OAG 06-156, 2006 Tenn. AG LEXIS 176 (10/9/06).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Construction with Anti-Fee Statutes.

This section must be construed in pari materia with the anti-fee statutes as concerns the fees and excess fees collected by the fee-officers. County of Shelby v. Blanton, 595 S.W.2d 72, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 362 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

2. General Statutes Mandatorily Applicable.

This section is a general statute mandatorily applicable to the handling of public funds held by the fee-officers. County of Shelby v. Blanton, 595 S.W.2d 72, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 362 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

3. Standing to Challenge Constitutionality.

A defendant who wishes to challenge the constitutionality of this section (formerly § 5-8-209) on the grounds that it violates the fine limitations of Tenn. Const., art. VI, § 14 must have had a fine imposed upon him under this section in order to have standing. State v. Purkey, 689 S.W.2d 196, 1984 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 3036 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1984).

5-8-208, 5-8-209. [Transferred.]

Compiler's Notes. Sections 5-8-208 and 5-8-209 (Acts 1953, ch. 43, §§ 2, 3 (Williams, §§ 1902.5, 1902.6); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 5-817, 5-818) were transferred in 1985 to § 5-8-207.

5-8-210. Checking system.

  1. Each county trustee may adopt a checking system for the disbursing of county funds by the county trustee as prescribed by this section by giving at least thirty (30) days notice to each official authorized to sign checks. Once adopted, any trustee may, with the approval of the county finance committee created pursuant to § 5-8-201, or with the approval of the county legislative body, discontinue the application of this section.
  2. For purposes of this section, the “county master account” means all accounts maintained by the county trustee for the purpose of handling banking transactions of the various county funds required by law to be managed by the county trustee, except for any check clearing account as defined in subsection (c). The county trustee shall reconcile all county master accounts and shall maintain all records as required by law relating to such accounts, including maintaining paid checks.
  3. For purposes of this section, “check clearing account” includes any account created for combined offices and departments or created for separate offices or departments, or both, that the county trustee establishes as a separate checking account for county payrolls or as a method of certifying checks. If any check clearing account is established, such account shall be reconciled by the county trustee, except that a separate clearing account established for a single office or department shall be reconciled by that office or department; provided, that if the county trustee deems it necessary or advisable, the county trustee may reconcile any check clearing account established for a single office or department, which shall include maintaining the paid checks.
  4. Any financial institution charges incurred by a county for a county master account or for a check clearing account shall be an allowable office expense for the county trustee; provided, that any financial institution charges incurred for a check clearing account established for a single office or department shall be a charge against the funds of the office or department.
  5. In any county coming under this section, a county master account and a check clearing account shall be established by the county trustee at a financial institution selected by the county finance committee created pursuant to § 5-8-201 or, if the county legislative body has not created a county finance committee or the county finance committee fails to specify one (1) or more financial institutions, then the county trustee may select a financial institution authorized to handle such account. Any financial institution shall be selected based on the institution offering the highest and best bid or bids to pay interest on daily balances of the county's funds, considering the lowest service charges, and considering other factors affecting safety and liquidity of county moneys.
  6. When the financial institution has been selected, the county trustee shall establish one (1) or more county master bank accounts or one (1) or more check clearing accounts, or both, and have each official authorized by law to sign checks drawn on each account to complete forms as required by the financial institution. The forms shall be completed and returned to the financial institution prior to any checks being issued on the account. Persons who have the authority to sign checks drawn on the account shall promptly complete these forms and return them to the county trustee. The county trustee shall maintain a copy of these forms and shall provide a copy of each completed form to the county mayor and to each person who is authorized to sign checks drawn on the account.
  7. The county trustee, in conjunction with the financial institution, may designate specifications for checks used to make withdrawals on any account established pursuant to this section. In the event of a written objection to the specifications by the county mayor, a department head, the director of accounts and budgets, or the director of finance is filed with the trustee, the county trustee's specifications for checks shall be approved by the finance committee created pursuant to § 5-8-201, or by the county legislative body.
  8. In any county that adopts this section, the issuance of checks shall be certified by one (1) of the following methods adopted by the county trustee:
    1. List Certification Method.  This method requires each department, including the county mayor, a department head, director of accounts and budgets, and a director of finance, to submit a list by fund to the county trustee of the checks being issued showing the date of the check, check number, payee and amount. The county trustee verifies the department's fund balance and certifies that funds are available or will be available in the “check clearing account” for payment of those checks. The county trustee then transfers funds from the “county master account” to the “check clearing account.” The county trustee may develop a procedure for emergency certification by the county trustee in circumstances where such would be reasonable, in which event the county trustee must be provided with a written document for certification by the end of the next business day;
    2. Check Signing/Validation Method.  This method requires each department, including the county mayor, department heads, director of accounts and budgets, and directors of finance, to submit a list to the county trustee of checks being issued showing the date of the check, check number, payee and amount. The county trustee verifies the department's fund balance. The county trustee signs or validates each check if sufficient funds are or will be available and makes any necessary transfer of funds from the master account to the check clearing account;
    3. Combination Method.  The method outlined in subdivision (h)(1) may be followed for some offices and departments, and the method outlined in subdivision (h)(2) followed for other offices and departments in the discretion of the county trustee; or
    4. Any other certification method requested by the county trustee and approved by the comptroller of the treasury.
  9. When the county trustee has certified that funds are available, the total amount certified shall be charged to the fund on which the check or checks are drawn on at least a daily basis so that a current balance is maintained.
  10. Any reference in this code or regulations issued pursuant to this code that require or authorize the issuance or acceptance of a county warrant shall also authorize the issuance or acceptance of a check drawn pursuant to this section and, to the extent that this section conflicts with other laws or regulations, this section shall apply in any county in which this section has been adopted by the county trustee as provided in subsection (a).
  11. Any person who signs or issues any check required by this section to be certified by the county trustee, that has not been certified by the county trustee in accordance with this section, is in violation of this section, subject to removal from position or office, and subject to personal liability for any improperly disbursed funds.

Acts 1992, ch. 743, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 130, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Part 3
Investment in Bonds or Notes

5-8-301. Authorized investments.

  1. It is the policy of this state and the several counties that all idle county funds shall be invested to the maximum extent practical according to the following:
    1. Idle county funds derived from bond proceeds shall be invested in accordance with subsection (b);
    2. Idle county funds derived from sales of assets, settlements, or other infrequent and unusual occurrences shall be invested in accordance with subsection (b) and subdivisions (c)(2) and (3); and
    3. All other idle county funds shall be invested in accordance with subsections (b) and (c).
  2. In order to provide a safe temporary medium for investment of idle funds, counties are authorized to invest in the investment instruments noted in this section or as otherwise provided in the charter of those counties that have adopted a charter form of government pursuant to chapter 1, part 2 of this title. Any investments made pursuant to subdivisions (b)(3), (5) and (6) shall either be approved by the county legislative body, be in compliance with an investment policy adopted by the county legislative body, or approved by an investment committee established pursuant to § 5-8-302. Counties are authorized to invest idle funds in any of the following:
    1. Bonds, notes or treasury bills of the United States or other obligations guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States or any of its agencies;
    2. Certificates of deposit and other evidence of deposit at Tennessee state chartered banks and savings and loan associations and federally chartered banks and savings and loan associations. Prior to making these investments, the county official shall obtain and document at least two (2) proposals from banks or other financial institutions to assure the county receives the highest and best rate of return. The documentation shall be retained in the official's office for a period of not less than three (3) years. Notwithstanding any other public or private act to the contrary, all investments made pursuant to this subdivision (b)(2) shall be secured by collateral in the same manner and under the same conditions as state deposits under title 9, chapter 4, parts 1 and 4, or as provided in a collateral pool created under title 9, chapter 4, part 5;
    3. Obligations of the United States or its agencies under a repurchase agreement for a shorter time than the maturity date of the security itself if the market value of the security itself is more than the amount of funds invested. Counties may invest in repurchase agreements only if the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee approves repurchase agreements as an authorized investment and if such investments are made in accordance with procedures established by the state funding board;
    4. The pooled investment fund established by title 9, chapter 4, part 7;
        1. Bonds of this state, including any revenue bond issued by any agency of the state of Tennessee, specifically including institutions under the control of the state board of education, the board of trustees for the University of Tennessee and bonds issued in the name of the state school bond authority;
        2. Bonds of any county or municipal corporation of this state, including bonds payable from revenues, but expressly excluding bonds of any road, levee or drainage district; and
        3. Bonds of any other state or political subdivision thereof;
      1. Any funds invested pursuant to this subdivision (b)(5) shall be invested only in bonds rated A or higher by any nationally recognized rating service;
    5. Nonconvertible debt securities of the following federal government sponsored enterprises that are chartered by the United States congress; provided, that the securities are rated in the highest category by at least two (2) nationally recognized rating services:
      1. The federal home loan bank;
      2. The federal national mortgage association;
      3. The federal farm credit bank;
      4. The federal home loan mortgage corporation; and
      5. Any other obligations that are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States or any of its agencies; and
    6. The county's own bonds or notes issued in accordance with title 9, chapter 21.
    1. Not more than twenty percent (20%) of the lowest idle fund balance in the last five (5) years or twenty percent (20%) of the idle funds available at the time of investment, whichever is less, may be invested in maturities of greater than two (2) years but not greater than five (5) years from the date of investment.
    2. No idle funds are to be invested for a maturity of greater than two (2) years, unless first the county legislative body shall appoint an investment committee as authorized by § 5-8-302 or § 5-21-105, and such investment committee shall give its prior approval. Such investment committee may approve investments in maturities of up to five (5) years.
    3. Under subdivision (a)(2), the investment committee may approve investment in maturities of greater than five (5) years. Any such investments shall also be approved by the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee. The individual designated to invest the funds shall submit to the director in writing the infrequent and unusual occurrence that generated idle funds under subdivision (a)(2), the medium of investment and the maturity approved by the investment committee.
    1. In addition to the investments authorized in subsection (a), those counties having a population in excess of one hundred fifty thousand (150,000), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census, may also permit investment of idle funds in the investment instruments in subdivisions (d)(1)(A) and (B) in accordance with subdivision (d)(3);
      1. Prime banker's acceptances that are eligible for purchase by the federal reserve system; and
      2. Prime commercial paper that is rated at least A1 or equivalent by at least two (2) nationally recognized rating services.
    2. In addition to the investments authorized in subsection (a), those counties having a population of not less than twenty thousand (20,000) nor more than one hundred fifty thousand (150,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, may also permit investment of idle funds in prime commercial paper in accordance with the following:
      1. Such paper shall be rated in the highest category by at least two (2) commercial paper rating services; and
      2. The paper shall have a remaining maturity of ninety (90) days or less.
    3. Investment in the instruments set forth in subdivisions (d)(1) and (2) shall first be authorized by the county legislative body, acting by resolution duly adopted or otherwise provided in the charter of those counties that have adopted a charter form of government, pursuant to chapter 1, part 2 of this title. In addition, investment in the instruments set forth in subdivisions (d)(1) and (2) shall be prohibited until the investment committee has adopted written policies to govern the use of such instruments, with such policies being no less restrictive than those established by the state funding board to govern state investment in the instruments set forth in subdivisions (d)(1) and (2).

Acts 1943, ch. 23, § 1; mod. C. Supp. 1950, § 1044.1 (Williams, § 1080.1); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-819; Acts 1983, ch. 389, § 1; 1985, ch. 298, § 1; 1986, ch. 636, § 1; 1988, ch. 593, §§ 1-3; 1990, ch. 814, § 3; 1992, ch. 592, § 6; 1994, ch. 752, § 3; 1994, ch. 806, § 1; 2000, ch. 996, §§ 1-3; 2006, ch. 693, §§ 1, 2; 2008, ch. 899, § 2; 2010, ch. 868, §§ 10, 11.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Investment in TVA bonds, § 35-3-119.

Political subdivisions investing in obligations of public housing authority authorized, § 35-3-115.

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of county legislative body, OAG 94-065, 1994 Tenn. AG LEXIS 69 (5/4/94).

5-8-302. Committee on investment.

  1. For the purpose of carrying out § 5-8-301, the county legislative body of the several counties may appoint a committee with authority to designate the types of investments, the amounts of those investments and the maturity of those investments.
  2. No liability shall attach to any member of a committee selected for the purpose mentioned in subsection (a), except for misfeasance or malfeasance in the performance of the duties imposed on the committee.

Acts 1943, ch. 23, § 2; C. Supp. 1950, § 1044.2 (Williams, § 1080.2); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-820; Acts 2006, ch. 693, § 3.

Cross-References. Investment committee approval for investing funds, § 5-8-301.

Attorney General Opinions. County investment committees, OAG 94-065, 1994 Tenn. AG LEXIS 69 (5/4/94).

5-8-303. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-8-303 (Acts 1986, ch. 636, § 2), concerning approval of investments, was repealed by Acts 2006, ch. 693, § 4, effective May 18, 2006.

Part 4
Unclaimed Funds

5-8-401. Disposition.

The county mayor is required, in making settlements with clerks, to ascertain what amount of money is in their hands due to witnesses and officers, that may have been collected by them from suitors, and that has been in the hands of the clerk for more than two (2) years, and such sums of money shall be paid into the county treasury as other county revenue.

Code 1858, § 521 (deriv. Acts 1845-1846, ch. 32, § 1); Shan., § 661; Code 1932, § 1060; Acts 1939, ch. 193, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 1060; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-821; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Section 521 of the 1858 Code was probably superseded by Acts 1891, ch. 227, requiring such money to be paid into the state treasury after six years, but such act was repealed by Acts 1893, ch. 65 and § 521 specifically revived and reenacted.

This section may be affected by the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act compiled in title 66, ch. 29.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Application to excess fees, § 8-22-108.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 6 Tenn. Juris., Clerks of Court, § 12; 6 Tenn. Juris., Constitutional Law, § 79; 8 Tenn. Juris., Costs, § 43.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

This law is based upon the doctrine of escheat and is free from constitutional objection, the principle being applicable to personalty as well as realty. Deaderick v. County Court of Washington County, 41 Tenn. 202, 1860 Tenn. LEXIS 46 (1860).

The statutes contained in this part, providing for the payment of unclaimed costs into the county treasury, there to remain till demanded by the parties to whom the same are due, are constitutional and valid. Deaderick v. County Court of Washington County, 41 Tenn. 202, 1860 Tenn. LEXIS 46 (1860); Pillow v. Gaines, 71 Tenn. 466, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 99 (1879); Johnson v. Hudson, 96 Tenn. 630, 36 S.W. 380, 1896 Tenn. LEXIS 17 (1896).

2. Application of Other Sections.

Section 35-3-101 does not affect the duty of the clerk to turn over funds that he has held for two years under the provisions of this section. Head v. Barry, 69 Tenn. 753, 1878 Tenn. LEXIS 174 (1878).

3. Control of Funds Prior to Transfer.

The statute applies to funds in the hands of the clerk and master, remaining unclaimed for more than two years, but until the funds are paid into the county treasury, the court may make any order touching them that it may deem for the interest of the claimants. Massey v. Gleaves, 1 Cooper's Tenn. Ch. 149 (1873).

4. Transferred Money as Trust Fund.

The unclaimed costs and funds paid into the county treasury by the clerks of the courts do not become the property of the county or state, under the law of escheat, but become trust funds, demandable at any time by the owners. Johnson v. Hudson, 96 Tenn. 630, 36 S.W. 380, 1896 Tenn. LEXIS 17 (1896); Hamblen County v. Cain, 115 Tenn. 279, 89 S.W. 103, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 60 (1905).

5-8-402. Records and reports.

  1. The several clerks shall, upon oath, produce their books and papers, and point out to the county mayor the items so collected by them and remaining in their hands, mentioned in § 5-8-401; and the county mayor shall examine the books minutely, and interrogate the clerks with a view to elicit the facts, and shall report thereon.
  2. The county mayor shall include with the report a list of the persons to whom money remaining in the hands of the clerk is due, and the amount due, and the county clerk shall spread the same in full in a record book kept for this purpose.

Code 1858, §§ 522, 523 (deriv. Acts 1845-1846, ch. 32, §§ 2, 4); Shan., §§ 662, 663; Code 1932, §§ 1061, 1062; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-822; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. This section may be affected by the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act compiled in title 66, ch. 29.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 6 Tenn. Juris., Clerks of Court, § 12; 6 Tenn. Juris., Constitutional Law, § 79.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Enforcement of Payment.

The statute includes all funds due parties, and if the clerk declines to pay the same into the county treasury when and as required, the county executive (now county mayor) may compel him to do so by suit in the chancery court. Head v. Barry, 69 Tenn. 753, 1878 Tenn. LEXIS 174 (1878).

An action by the county to recover from a clerk of a court such moneys collected by him must be brought within ten years after accrual of the cause of action. Hamblen County v. Cain, 115 Tenn. 279, 89 S.W. 103, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 60 (1905).

5-8-403. Payment to claimant.

The person to whom any money paid into the county treasury is due may apply to the county mayor for a warrant for the amount due that person, and, on presenting this warrant to the county trustee, the county trustee shall pay the amount, as in other cases, out of any money in the treasury.

Code 1858, § 524 (deriv. Acts 1845-1846, ch. 32, § 6); Shan., § 664; Code 1932, § 1063; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-823; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. This section may be affected by the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act compiled in title 66, ch. 29.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 6 Tenn. Juris., Clerks of Court, § 12; 6 Tenn. Juris., Constitutional Law, § 79.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Funds.

Money due witnesses, officers and others, when paid into the county treasury is the property of the original owners, the county acting merely as trustee for them. Hamblen County v. Cain, 115 Tenn. 279, 89 S.W. 103, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 60 (1905).

5-8-404. Unclaimed funds from appellate courts.

This part shall apply to clerks of the appeals and supreme courts, who are required to pay over to the county mayor of the county in which the suits originated, as other county revenue, on the first day of January, April, July, and October of each year, all moneys in their hands due to witnesses, officers, litigants, or others, that may have been collected by the clerk from suitors or from the state and county treasury, and that have been in court for more than two (2) years.

Acts 1895, ch. 137, § 1; Shan., § 665; mod. Code 1932, § 1064; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-824; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. This section may be affected by the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act compiled in title 66, ch. 29.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 6 Tenn. Juris., Clerks of Court, § 12; 6 Tenn. Juris., Constitutional Law, § 79.

Part 5
Accounting System and Reports

5-8-501. Standard accounting system.

The comptroller of the treasury, with the approval of the governor, shall devise a modern and effective bookkeeping and accounting system to be used by all county officials and agencies receiving and disbursing the revenues of the state or any political subdivision thereof, and shall prescribe the minimum standards that shall be required under such system.

Acts 1953, ch. 25, § 1 (Williams, § 1681.1); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-825.

Cross-References. Administration by comptroller of the treasury, § 4-3-305.

Attorney General Opinions. Inmate funds are required to be handled by the sheriff consistent with the standards established by the state comptroller's county audit division, OAG 06-156, 2006 Tenn. AG LEXIS 176 (10/9/06).

5-8-502. Compliance with accounting standards.

All county officials and agencies receiving and disbursing the revenues of the state or any political subdivision thereof shall be required to adopt a system of bookkeeping and accounting that meets the minimum standards provided for in § 5-8-501.

Acts 1953, ch. 25, § 2 (Williams, § 1681.2); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-826.

Attorney General Opinions. Inmate funds are required to be handled by the sheriff consistent with the standards established by the state comptroller's county audit division, OAG 06-156, 2006 Tenn. AG LEXIS 176 (10/9/06).

5-8-503. Noncompliance — Additional audit costs.

If any county official or agency receiving and disbursing the revenues of the state or any political subdivision thereof shall fail to comply with  § 5-8-502, the county, within thirty (30) days after the completion of the audit made by the state department of audit under  §§ 4-3-304 and 9-3-212, shall be obligated to pay into the office of the comptroller of the treasury such portion of the actual cost of the audit as exceeds the fee provided by § 9-3-210.

Acts 1953, ch. 25, § 3 (Williams, § 1681.3); impl. am. Acts 1977, ch. 103, §§ 2, 7; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-827.

5-8-504. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-8-504 (Acts 1953, ch. 25, § 4 (Williams, § 1681.4); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-828), concerning reduced audit costs to encourage counties to comply with accounting standards, was repealed by Acts 1995, ch. 179, § 13, effective July 1, 1995.

5-8-505. Financial reports — Applicability and contents.

All appointive or elective county public officials, official county boards, committees and commissions in the state having in their charge and custody public funds or moneys are required to file with the county mayor and with the county clerk, who shall provide a copy of this report to each member of the county legislative body on or before the next meeting of the county legislative body an annual financial report for the year ended June 30, in a form prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury.

Acts 1947, ch. 215, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 1653.1 (Williams, § 1652); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-829; Acts 1991, ch. 484, § 1; 1993, ch. 315, § 2; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-8-506. [Repealed.]

Compiler's Notes. Former § 5-8-506 (Acts 1947, ch. 215, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 1653.1 (Williams, § 1652); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-830), concerning publication of financial reports, was repealed by Acts 1991, ch. 484, § 2, effective January 1, 1992.

5-8-507. Annual operating budget — Publication — Budgetary comparison.

  1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the county commission shall cause to be published the proposed annual operating budget, no later than five (5) days after the budget is presented to the governing body, in a newspaper of general circulation, if the newspaper is published daily. If the newspaper of general circulation is published less frequently than daily, then the commission shall cause the proposed annual operating budget to be published in the first edition for which the deadline for publication falls after the budget is presented to the governing body. No county commission shall approve final adoption of such budget until at least ten (10) days after the budget has been so published. A county may also publish the proposed annual operating budget on the county's Internet web site, which shall be accessible to the public, on the day the budget is presented to the governing body in order to give the public notice of the budget.
  2. The annual operating budget shall contain a budgetary comparison for the following governmental funds:
    1. General;
    2. Highway/public works;
    3. General purpose school fund; and
    4. Debt service.
  3. The budgetary comparison shall include comparisons of the proposed budget with the current year and the prior year. The budgetary comparisons shall be by individual fund and shall summarize revenues by local taxes, state of Tennessee, federal government and other sources. Expenditures shall be summarized by salaries and other costs. The budgetary comparison shall also present beginning and ending fund balances and the number of employee positions.

Acts 1991, ch. 484, § 4; 1992, ch. 760, § 1; 1996, ch. 732, §§ 1, 2; 2003, ch. 379, § 1.

Part 6
Revenue Commissioners [Repealed]

5-8-601. [Repealed.]

Acts 1907, ch. 602, § 76; Shan., § 935; Code 1932, § 1650; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-831; repealed by Acts 2016, ch. 624, § 1, effective March 22, 2016.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 6, §§ 5-8-601—5-8-604 concerned revenue commissioners.

Acts 2016, Ch. 624, § 4, provided that nothing in the act, which repealed this part, shall remove an incumbent from office or abridge the term of any revenue commissioner prior to the end of the term for which the official was elected.

5-8-602. [Repealed.]

Acts 1907, ch. 602, § 76; Shan., § 936; Code 1932, § 1651; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-832; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2; repealed by Acts 2016, ch. 624, § 1, effective March 22, 2016.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 6, §§ 5-8-601—5-8-604 concerned revenue commissioners.

5-8-603. [Repealed.]

Acts 1907, ch. 602, § 76; Shan., § 937; Code 1932, § 1652; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-833; repealed by Acts 2016, ch. 624, § 1, effective March 22, 2016.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 6, §§ 5-8-601—5-8-604 concerned revenue commissioners.

5-8-604. [Repealed.]

Acts 1907, ch. 602, § 76; Shan., § 938; Acts 1921, ch. 135, § 2; Code 1932, § 1653; Acts 1959, ch. 231, § 1; 1971, ch. 294, §§ 1, 2; 1975, ch. 18, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-834; Acts 1984, ch. 509, §§ 1, 2; repealed by Acts 2016, ch. 624, § 1, effective March 22, 2016.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 6, §§ 5-8-601—5-8-604 concerned revenue commissioners.

Chapter 9
Appropriation and Disbursement of Funds

Part 1
Authorized Appropriations Generally

5-9-101. Miscellaneous purposes.

The county legislative body may appropriate moneys as follows:

  1. For the payment of jurors;
  2. For the payment of costs of criminal prosecutions chargeable by law to the county;
  3. For the support of people who are indigent or have mental illness or intellectual or developmental disabilities;
  4. For the burial or cremation expenses of any poor person dying in the county, leaving no means to pay for the same;
  5. For the purchase of record books for the use of the circuit and chancery court clerks, the county clerk and the county register;
  6. To pay solicitors, sheriffs and clerks for ex officio services;
  7. To pay clerks for making out tax lists;
  8. To pay the county mayor for the county mayor's services as financial agent of the county;
  9. To pay the county mayor for other services;
  10. To pay commissioners for settling with the officers entrusted with the collection of the public or county revenue;
  11. For building, repairing and taking care of courthouses, jails and other county buildings;
  12. For purchasing tools for overseers of roads;
  13. For weights and measures;
  14. For building bridges; but no county legislative body of this state shall appropriate any moneys to repair or build any bridges on chartered turnpike roads that charge and collect toll;
  15. To compensate a judge of the court of general sessions and officers concerned in the arrest and examination of a person charged with a felony, as provided in this code;
  16. For exhibits and buildings and other permanent improvements for or at county and state fairs;
  17. For aiding farmers' cooperative demonstration work;
  18. For public and permanent statutes of this state;
  19. Toward the construction or maintenance of a public market house;
  20. Toward the printing of histories of the county, and further in aid of the construction of markers or monuments of a historical character within the bounds of the county and toward the acquisition and development of historic sites, structures and buildings in the county;
  21. To purchase all necessary equipment for use by the sheriff of the county for the preservation of the peace and for the service and execution of all process, criminal and civil, and to pay the salaries of deputy sheriffs appointed pursuant to title 8, chapter 20;
  22. To make appropriations for the purpose of participating with the federal government in community planning services and training of older people or senior citizens in accordance with the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq.);
  23. To nonprofit volunteer fire departments or to nonprofit county-wide fire departments authorized by § 5-17-101, upon such terms as may be agreed to by the county legislative bodies;
  24. To make appropriations for the purpose of participating with either the state or federal government, or both of them, to provide services and facilities for people with mental illness or intellectual or developmental disabilities;
  25. To appropriate funds for any project otherwise statutorily authorized; and
  26. For economic and community development.

Code 1858, § 4215 (deriv. Acts 1827, ch. 49, § 14; 1833, ch. 89, §§ 1, 2; 1833, ch. 92, § 16; 1855-1856, ch. 145, § 1); 1879, ch. 192, § 1; 1907, ch. 513, § 1; 1913 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 27, § 1; 1915, ch. 148, § 1; 1917, ch. 27, § 1; 1917, ch. 43, § 1; Shan., § 6045; Acts 1919, ch. 72, § 1; mod. Code 1932, § 10242; Acts 1943, ch. 91, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 10242; Acts 1951, ch. 4, § 1; modified; impl. am. Acts 1963, ch. 14, § 1; Acts 1967, ch. 57, § 1; 1971, ch. 8, § 1; 1975, ch. 9, § 1; 1976, ch. 647, § 1; 1978, ch. 674, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 22, 36; impl. am. Acts 1979, ch. 68, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-901; Acts 1980, ch. 731, §§ 1-3; 1986, ch. 725, § 1; 1989, ch. 189, § 1; 2003, ch. 51, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2011, ch. 158, § 4.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Advertising and tourist promotion, appropriations, title 5, ch. 9, part 2.

Ambulance service, title 7, ch. 61.

Armories, authority to provide, §§ 58-1-508, 58-1-509.

Audit, expenses, § 8-15-104.

Books for register, furnishing, § 10-7-102.

Cemeteries, funds for maintenance, § 46-2-107.

Children's receiving homes, appropriations, § 37-2-302.

Civil defense, federal aid for, § 58-2-124.

Contributions to public welfare hospitals, §§ 68-11-50468-11-506.

County taxes paid under protest, § 67-1-912.

Defense, appropriations of money or property for, § 58-1-510.

Deputy sheriffs, appropriation for payment, § 8-22-111.

Drainage, levee or improvement districts, preliminary expenses, advancement, § 69-6-132.

Educational institutions, contributions to tax-supported colleges, universities and institutions of higher learning, § 49-7-108.

Financing for state emergency management agency, § 58-2-109.

Health demonstration work in state department of health, making appropriations for, § 68-1-105.

Highway safety program, title 55, ch. 20.

Library, establishment authorized, contracting for, § 10-3-101.

Obtaining state disaster relief funds, § 58-2-501.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Record books, authority to have rebound, § 10-7-119.

Reimbursement for personnel and property, § 58-2-115.

Use of county revenue, generally, § 5-8-107.

Veterans' memorials, erection, title 58, ch. 4, part 2.

Veterans' service offices, title 58, ch. 3.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 24; 16 Tenn. Juris., Judges, § 9; 20 Tenn. Juris., Paupers, § 1; 22 Tenn. Juris., Schools, § 28.

Attorney General Opinions. Funding volunteer fire departments, OAG 97-141, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 175 (10/14/97).

County executive's [now county mayor's] authority over sheriff's department purchasing, OAG 99-051, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 48 (3/4/99).

Funding volunteer fire service, OAG 07-087, 2007 Op. Atty Gen. Tenn. 1 (6/5/07).

Clarification of OAG 07-087, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 134 (6/5/07), regarding funding of volunteer fire departments, OAG 07-134, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 134 (9/11/07).

No state law or constitutional provision requires a local government to provide a burial, cremation, or other funeral services for indigent individuals. State law requires only that each county cover the expenses, when necessary, for the burial or cremation of unclaimed bodies by the coroner or medical examiner. OAG 18-13, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 14 (3/20/2018).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Construction.

This and other sections are salutary regulations and limitations on the power of the county. Davidson County v. Olwill, 72 Tenn. 28, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1879); Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 50 (1906); Hagan v. Black, 159 Tenn. 290, 17 S.W.2d 908, 1928 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1929).

County legislative body has such jurisdiction and power only as is granted by statute, and its action is not complete or effective to bind the county for any purpose until a record evidencing such action is made. Epps v. Washington County, 173 Tenn. 373, 117 S.W.2d 749, 1937 Tenn. LEXIS 35 (1938).

The county has no authority to appropriate money for any purposes other than those enumerated by statute. Maury County v. Whitthorne, 174 Tenn. 384, 126 S.W.2d 304, 1938 Tenn. LEXIS 102 (1939).

2. Record of Appropriations.

Minutes must show the purpose of every appropriation to the end that such fund may not be used for any other purpose, and that taxpayers may know the real purpose for which public funds are being used. Southern v. Beeler, 183 Tenn. 272, 195 S.W.2d 857, 1946 Tenn. LEXIS 267 (1946).

3. Appropriations for Particular Purposes.

4. —County Buildings.

Public schoolhouses are not included in subdivision (11), because the phrase “other county buildings” does not include public schoolhouses, but includes only county buildings of the same nature and kind as courthouses and jails. State ex rel. Davidson County Board of Education v. Pollard, 124 Tenn. 127, 136 S.W. 427, 1910 Tenn. LEXIS 47 (1911).

5. —Schoolhouses.

County cannot legally appropriate general county funds for the construction of school buildings since such appropriation is not authorized by this section. State ex rel. Davidson County Board of Education v. Pollard, 124 Tenn. 127, 136 S.W. 427, 1910 Tenn. LEXIS 47 (1911).

6. —Salaries of Officers and Employees.

Appropriations authorized by this section for payment of salaries of county officers are payable out of funds derived from the tax levy made for general county purposes. Storie v. Norman, 174 Tenn. 647, 130 S.W.2d 101, 1938 Tenn. LEXIS 134 (1939).

Under statute providing that salaries of county officers and employees be paid from general county fund, a special levy made by county for this purpose was void, even though a portion of revenue produced by special levy was to be expended for lawful purpose. State ex rel. Anderson County v. Aycock, 193 Tenn. 157, 245 S.W.2d 182, 1951 Tenn. LEXIS 341 (1951).

7. —Compensation for Special General Sessions Judges.

No statute explicitly requires counties to compensate special general sessions court judges appointed in accordance with T.C.A. § 17-2-116(a)(1); this obligation, however, must necessarily be implied from the statutes creating the general sessions courts, providing for their funding, and governing the selection not only of regular general sessions judges but also of their temporary replacements. State ex rel. Witcher v. Bilbrey, 878 S.W.2d 567, 1994 Tenn. App. LEXIS 103 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1994).

8. —Poor Relief.

The county has power to appropriate money for the support of the poor of the county, and is the exclusive judge as to whether the persons provided for are “poor persons,” in the sense of the law; and if the order appropriating the money recites that they are poor persons, or the equivalent, it is conclusive on this point, and a valid appropriation. King v. Sullivan County, 67 Tenn. 329, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 384 (1874).

A special tax levied for the building or the repairing of the county poorhouse must be so denominated, and such tax cannot be validly levied under a general phrase as “pauper tax.” Southern R. Co. v. Hamblen County, 117 Tenn. 327, 97 S.W. 455, 1906 Tenn. LEXIS 50 (1906).

This section empowers the county to appropriate money for the rent of offices for use in the organized and combined effort of the county, state and federal government, to render financial aid to the poor. Maury County v. Whitthorne, 174 Tenn. 384, 126 S.W.2d 304, 1938 Tenn. LEXIS 102 (1939).

The support of the poor is a general county purpose, for which appropriations may be made out of the general county funds. Storie v. Norman, 174 Tenn. 647, 130 S.W.2d 101, 1938 Tenn. LEXIS 134 (1939).

Appropriations for various organizations engaged in charitable work among the indigent violated Tenn. Const., art. II, § 29 prohibiting use of public funds for private purposes, since control of funds appropriated was taken from the county authorities and vested in the particular organizations designated in the appropriations. Southern v. Beeler, 183 Tenn. 272, 195 S.W.2d 857, 1946 Tenn. LEXIS 267 (1946).

9. —Court Costs.

Section 5-7-106 does not authorize a levy for court costs, and appropriations for court costs must be paid out of the general county funds, derived from the levy for general county purposes under § 67-5-102. A levy for such purpose in excess of the levy under § 67-5-102 is invalid. Storie v. Norman, 174 Tenn. 647, 130 S.W.2d 101, 1938 Tenn. LEXIS 134 (1939).

10. —Detection and Punishment of Crime.

The county courts (now county legislative bodies), before the 1951 amendment, not being charged by law with any duty to detect or punish crime, had no implied power to appropriate county funds for such purposes. Hagan v. Black, 159 Tenn. 290, 17 S.W.2d 908, 1928 Tenn. LEXIS 84 (1929).

11. —Improper Appropriations.

A county has no authority to appropriate general funds for any purpose other than those enumerated in this section, and it was improper to apply the proceeds of the wholesale beer tax to the regular county school fund. Harriman v. Roane County, 553 S.W.2d 904, 1977 Tenn. LEXIS 593 (Tenn. 1977).

12. Borrowing Money.

County has no authority to borrow money, not even for the payment of appropriations that the county is authorized to make for county purposes, in the absence of a statute specifically authorizing such borrowing. Bank of Erin v. Houston County, 6 Tenn. App. 638, — S.W.2d —, 1928 Tenn. App. LEXIS 194 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1928).

5-9-102. State and county fairs.

The county legislative bodies are empowered to make appropriations of money to provide for exhibits of their agriculture, horticulture, and mineral products and resources and manufactured products and the erection of buildings and other permanent improvements at the fairs to be held within the respective counties, and for exhibits of their agriculture, horticulture, and mineral products and resources and manufactured products and the erection of buildings at the Tennessee state fair held annually at Nashville, under the management of the Tennessee State Fair Association; and to provide ways and means and prescribe rules and regulations governing the expenditure of any moneys so appropriated.

Acts 1907, ch. 513, § 1; Shan., § 373a28; Acts 1919, ch. 72, § 1; Code 1932, § 10250; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-902.

5-9-103. Market houses.

The county legislative body is authorized to appropriate money towards the construction or maintenance of a public market house, to be erected within the confines of the county, and to be used for general public market purposes.

Acts 1917, ch. 27, § 1; Shan., § 6050a1; Code 1932, § 10256; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-903.

5-9-104. Farmers' extension work.

The county legislative bodies are empowered to appropriate annually such an amount of money as may be deemed necessary or expedient in order to cooperate with the division of extension of the college of agricultural sciences and natural resources of the University of Tennessee, in its farm demonstration and agricultural extension work, to be conducted by such college in cooperation with the United States department of agriculture through the Smith-Lever bill (7 U.S.C. § 341 et seq.), the farmer's demonstration work, or other work supported by acts of congress, or in its extension work to be conducted through appropriations from the state, or through moneys received from any other source.

Acts 1913 (1st Ex. Sess.), ch. 27, § 1; 1915, ch. 148, § 1; Shan., § 373a29; Code 1932, § 10251; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-904.

5-9-105. Purchases of code.

  1. The county legislative body, composed of the members thereof, is authorized to purchase, from time to time, compilations of the public and permanent statutes of this state, for the use of judges of the court of general sessions and county officers, and to make appropriations of county funds for such purpose.
    1. No judge of the court of general sessions or county officer furnished with a compilation under this section shall acquire any personal ownership or title thereto, but all such compilations shall be and remain the property of the county.
    2. All laws pertaining to the preservation, safekeeping and transmission of official books and papers from incumbents to their successors in office shall be in force and applicable to all copies of compilations purchased under this section.

Acts 1917, ch. 43, §§ 1, 2; Shan., §§ 6050a2, 6050a3; Code 1932, §§ 10257, 10258; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; impl. am. Acts 1979, ch. 68, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-905.

5-9-106. Soil conservation.

  1. The county legislative bodies in all counties having soil conservation districts are hereby authorized and empowered to:
    1. Appropriate county funds for the purchase of equipment that is not available locally on a fair rental basis as may be needed in conservation work;
    2. Employ such secretarial help as may be needed;
    3. Purchase such office equipment and supplies as may be needed;
    4. Pay for the rental of office space; and
    5. Promote projects that are considered beneficial to the soil conservation program.
  2. After the funds are appropriated, they shall be paid out in accordance with the resolution of the county legislative body but under the supervision of the supervisors of the district for which the funds were appropriated, and county warrants shall be drawn and issued in the same way and manner as the law prescribes for warrants to be drawn and issued against the county's general fund.

Acts 1957, ch. 370, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-923.

Cross-References. Soil conservation districts, title 43, ch. 14, part 2.

5-9-107. Watershed development.

  1. Any county may make financial contributions to any watershed development authority created by special act of the general assembly, where a portion or all of the watershed development administered by such authority lies within the territory of such county.
  2. Such contributions shall only be made when authorized by the legislative body of such county, and from the general funds of the county. No special tax may be levied therefor.
  3. The amount of such contribution shall be as fixed by such county legislative body and sanctioned thereby as a county purpose, the development of which being beneficial to such county.

Acts 1965, ch. 339, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-930.

5-9-108. Medical services.

  1. The county legislative body or governing body of each county is authorized and empowered in its discretion to appropriate from the general funds of such county a sum of money for the purpose of defraying the cost of acquiring real estate and partially funding the operation of a nonprofit corporation that provides, through the national health service corps, medical services to members of the community for a fee and to indigent patients without charge; provided, that such nonprofit corporation is eligible for financial assistance by agencies of the state or federal government under any of its programs.
  2. Any funds appropriated for this purpose need not be repaid to the county by the nonprofit corporation.

Acts 1973, ch. 148, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-931.

5-9-109. Charitable and civic organizations.

    1. The county legislative body or governing body of each county may appropriate funds for the financial aid of any nonprofit charitable organization, any chamber of commerce, exempt from taxation pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, § 501(c)(6) (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(6)), or any nonprofit civic organization in accordance with the guidelines required by subsection (b).
    2. For the purposes of this section:
      1. A nonprofit charitable organization is one in which no part of the net earnings inures or may lawfully inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and that provides services benefiting the general welfare of the residents of the county; and
      2. A nonprofit civic organization means a civic organization exempt from taxation pursuant to § 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(4)), that operates primarily in the county for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements through efforts to maintain and increase employment opportunities in the county by promoting industry, trade, commerce, tourism and recreation by inducing manufacturing, industrial, governmental, educational, financial, service, commercial, recreational and agricultural enterprises to locate in or remain in the county.
    3. The statement of public policy set forth in Acts 1955, chapter 209, § 3 is hereby incorporated into and made a part of this section, and it is hereby determined and declared that appropriations authorized by this section are needed to relieve the emergency created by the continuing migration from Tennessee and its counties of a large number of its citizens in order to find employment elsewhere, and to enable the counties of the state to assist nonprofit organizations in furthering the economic development, social welfare and common good of its residents.
  1. Each county legislative body shall devise guidelines directing for what purposes the appropriated money may be spent. These guidelines shall provide generally that any funds appropriated shall be used to promote the general welfare of the residents of the county. Any funds appropriated under this section shall be used and expended under the direction and control of the county legislative bodies.
    1. Any nonprofit organization that desires financial assistance from the county legislative body or the governing body of the county shall file with the county clerk a copy of an annual report of its business affairs and transactions, which includes, but is not limited to, a copy of an annual audit, a description of the program that serves the residents of the county, and the proposed use of the county assistance.
    2. Such report will be open for public inspection during the regular business hours of the county clerk's office.
    3. Any nonprofit organization that desires such financial assistance may file, in lieu of the annual audit, an annual report detailing all receipts and expenditures in a form prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury.
    4. Such report shall be prepared and certified by the chief financial officer of such nonprofit organization.
    5. Financial reports shall be available to fiscal officers of the county and shall be subject to audit under § 4-3-304.
  2. Appropriations to nonprofit organizations other than charitable organizations may be made only when notices have been published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the intent to make an appropriation to a nonprofit but not charitable organization, specifying the intended amount of the appropriation and the purposes for which the appropriation will be spent.

Acts 1976, ch. 696, § 1; 1977, ch. 120, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 22, 36; Acts 1979, ch. 132, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-932; Acts 1984, ch. 820, §§ 1, 3; 1989, ch. 62, § 1; 1992, ch. 545, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 106, § 1; 1999, ch. 38, § 1; 2010, ch. 740, § 1; 2017, ch. 123, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Section 3 of Acts 1955, ch. 209, reads as follows:

“That it is hereby determined and declared that the purpose of this act is to do that which the state welfare demands, and the state public policy requires:

“(a)  That the migration and loss of the people of Tennessee, who are compelled to leave the territorial limits of the state, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to obtain employment and earn a livelihood be retarded and reduced.

“(b)  That the conditions of unemployment existing statewide in Tennessee be relieved thereby reducing the evils attendant thereto.

“(c)  That the average family income in Tennessee be raised and increased as much as possible, but to an amount at least the average over the United States.

“(d)  That a means be provided for the citizens of communities to promote and develop industry in their areas, when it is possible for them to do so in their separate and individual capacities.

“(e)  That a balanced economic development highly essential to the welfare of this state be promoted.

“(f)  That the reconversion from war time and civil defense economy to peace time pursuits be expedited by a program for readjustment of employment to accord with employment problems necessarily arising from changed conditions.

“(g)  That the present and prospective health, safety, morals, pursuit of happiness, right to gainful employment and the general welfare of the citizens demand as a public purpose, the development within Tennessee of commercial, industrial, agricultural and manufacturing enterprises by the several municipalities.

“(h)  That the means and measures herein authorized to promote such enterprises are, as a matter of public policy, for the public purposes of the several municipalities, and the state of Tennessee.

“(i)  That the present and prospective promotion of health, safety, morals, pursuit of happiness, right to gainful employment, and the general welfare of the state requires the measures that are herein and hereby authorized, and to that end will afford ready and attractive markets for farm and garden products, for the development of natural resources, and for the conversion of raw materials of farm, mine and forest into finished products for the general welfare of each of such municipalities, and the entire people of the state.

“(j)  That the accomplishment of the things herein authorized to be done by the several municipalities will give to them local benefits peculiar to each, and general benefits to the entire state.”

Amendments. The 2017 amendment added “in a form prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury” at the end of (c)(3).

Effective Dates. Acts 2017, ch. 123, § 3. April 12, 2017.

Attorney General Opinions. Local community groups as nonprofit organizations under T.C.A. § 5-9-109.  OAG 10-19, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 14 (2/23/10).

5-9-110. Animal welfare.

The several counties of the state, after the affirmative vote on reference of the question to the people, shall be empowered to levy a tax and provide for the administration of its proceeds for the purpose of securing humane treatment of animals therein that are not subject to the state game and fish laws.

Acts 1981, ch. 267, § 1.

5-9-111. Funds for dues of associations composed of or for the benefit of county officeholders.

  1. The legislative body of each county is authorized to appropriate funds for the purpose of defraying the cost of dues to associations of particular county officeholders or associations made up of groups of county officeholders.
  2. If the county legislative body of a county appropriates funds for the dues in such association for the benefit of the county mayor, county highway superintendent or members of the county legislative body, then such an appropriation sufficient to pay the cost of the annual association dues in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) of the assessor of property, county clerk, state court clerks, sheriff, register of deeds and trustee in at least one (1) such association, as designated by the officeholder, shall be likewise appropriated by the county legislative body, upon the request of the officials. The county legislative body is authorized to appropriate sufficient amounts in excess of one hundred dollars ($100) to pay such association dues in the discretion of the county legislative body.
  3. No such funds appropriated shall be used for lobbying activities as defined in § 3-6-102, for the purpose of influencing legislative action relative to benefits or salaries of the association's members.

Acts 1987, ch. 401, § 1; 1994, ch. 887, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-9-112. Assistance to low-income elderly residents.

  1. The legislative body of each county is authorized to appropriate funds for the purpose of providing assistance to low-income elderly residents of the county.
  2. If a county chooses to provide assistance, such funds shall be appropriated on an annual basis based on the particular needs of eligible persons, as determined by the county legislative body.
  3. The county legislative body is authorized to develop guidelines for eligibility and participation in applying for assistance authorized pursuant to this section.

Acts 1990, ch. 882, § 1.

5-9-113. Affordable housing and workforce housing.

  1. The county legislative body of any county with a metropolitan government and a population not less than five hundred thousand (500,000), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census, is authorized to appropriate funds for affordable housing or workforce housing.
  2. As used in this section:
    1. “Affordable housing” means housing that, on an annual basis, costs thirty percent (30%) or less than the estimated median household income for households earning sixty percent (60%) or less of the area median income for the Nashville-Davidson County metropolitan statistical area as determined by the United States department of housing and urban development, adjusted for family size; and
    2. “Workforce housing” means housing that, on an annual basis, costs thirty percent (30%) or less than the estimated median household income for households earning more than sixty percent (60%) and not to exceed one hundred twenty percent (120%) of the area median income for the Nashville-Davidson County metropolitan statistical area as determined by the United States department of housing and urban development, adjusted for family size.

Acts 2015, ch. 377, § 1; 2018, ch. 791, § 1.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment, inserted “of any county with a metropolitan government and a population not less than five hundred thousand (500,000), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census,” in (a); in (b)(1), substituted “sixty percent (60%) or less of” for “sixty percent (60%) or less than”; and, near the end of (b)(1) and at the end of (b)(2), substituted “the area median income for the Nashville-Davidson County metropolitan statistical area as determined by the United States department of housing and urban development, adjusted for family size” for “the median household income for the applicable county based on the number of persons in the household, as established by the ‘Median Household Income in the Past 12 Months by Household Size’ (B19019) from the most recently available United States Census Bureau American Community Survey”.

Effective Dates. Acts 2015, ch. 377, § 2. May 8, 2015.

Acts 2018, ch. 791, § 2. April 20, 2018.

Attorney General Opinions. Legislation providing that a metropolitan government may issue bonds and notes under the Local Government Public Obligations Act must provide for a referendum. OAG 16-07, 2016 Tenn. AG LEXIS 7 (2/24/2016).

Part 2
Advertising and Tourist Promotion

5-9-201. Legislative declaration — Appropriations for advertising authorized.

  1. Advertising the commercial, social, agricultural, industrial, scenic, recreational, historical, educational and other advantages, the points of interest and attractions within the various counties of Tennessee, and tourist promotion generally are declared to be a county purpose.
  2. The county legislative body or other governing body of each county is authorized and empowered in its discretion to appropriate moneys from the general funds of such county for the purpose of advertising the commercial, social, agricultural, industrial, scenic, recreational, historical, educational and other advantages of such county, and the points of interest and attractions therein, for tourist promotion.

Acts 1941, ch. 21, §§ 1, 2; C. Supp. 1950, §§ 10250.1, 10250.2 (Williams, §§ 844.1, 844.2); Acts 1968, ch. 474, § 1; 1977, ch. 55, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-906.

Attorney General Opinions. Under Chapter 905 of the Public Acts of 1980, as amended by Chapter 444 of the Public Acts of 1983 and Chapter 918 of the Public Acts of 1988, a county has discretion to appropriate hotel-motel tax revenues for the purpose of promoting tourism to a Convention Visitors Bureau or to a Tourist Development Agency. OAG 18-24, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 23 (6/1/2018).

5-9-202. Control of expenditures.

The funds appropriated pursuant to authority vested in the various county legislative bodies or governing bodies of counties in § 5-9-201 shall be used and expended under the direction and control of the county legislative bodies so appropriating the funds, or through such agency or agencies as they shall prescribe, and under such rules and regulations as they see fit.

Acts 1941, ch. 21, § 3; C. Supp. 1950, § 10250.3 (Williams, § 844.3); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-907.

Attorney General Opinions. Under Chapter 905 of the Public Acts of 1980, as amended by Chapter 444 of the Public Acts of 1983 and Chapter 918 of the Public Acts of 1988, a county has discretion to appropriate hotel-motel tax revenues for the purpose of promoting tourism to a Convention Visitors Bureau or to a Tourist Development Agency. OAG 18-24, 2018 Tenn. AG LEXIS 23 (6/1/2018).

5-9-203. Related county powers.

To carry out the purpose and intent of this part, the counties are authorized and empowered to:

  1. Form contracts with agencies of any type or wherever situated that will tend to promote the objectives of advertising the advantages of the various counties of this state;
  2. Gather and compile information from branches of the state government and other sources that will promote authentic information for advertising purposes;
  3. Enter into cooperative agreements and contracts with such individuals, partnerships, corporations, public and private associations, societies, educational institutions, chambers of commerce, tourist bureaus, automobile associations or any other organized groups as may be deemed advantageous to carry out the intent and purposes of this part;
  4. Accept unconditional gifts of money to be expended in furtherance of the purposes set out in § 5-9-201;
  5. Within the limits of available funds, match the money advanced for the purposes of this part, by the federal government, or by any state, county, municipal corporation, association, society or individual; and
  6. Donate, contribute or give all or any part of the funds so appropriated to such organized associations, societies, tourist bureaus or chambers of commerce, or corporations located within the territorial limits of such county, as may be deemed advantageous and proper to effectuate the purposes and intent of this part.

Acts 1941, ch. 21, § 4; C. Supp. 1950, § 10250.4 (Williams, § 844.4); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-908.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Authority to Act for County.

The general assembly has power to strip county legislative body of its nonconstitutional powers and may transfer those powers to another agency. Shelby County Board of Comm'rs v. Shelby County Quarterly Court, 216 Tenn. 470, 392 S.W.2d 935, 1965 Tenn. LEXIS 592 (1965).

Part 3
Procedures

5-9-301. Book of appropriation applications.

  1. It is the duty of the county clerk to keep a book in which applications for appropriation shall be entered when made to the county legislative body, and the same shall be open for the inspection of the citizens of the county.
  2. The county legislative body shall not consider or make any appropriation unless the same shall have first been entered in a book as heretofore required.

Acts 1875, ch. 63, §§ 5, 6; impl. am. Acts 1875, ch. 70, §§ 1, 3; Shan., §§ 6017, 6018; Code 1932, §§ 10216, 10217; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-910.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 23 Tenn. Juris., Streets and Highways, § 16.

5-9-302. Vote on appropriations.

In making appropriations of money, the vote of the members of the county legislative body present shall be taken by ayes and nayes, the clerk calling and recording the name of each member, together with each member's vote, aye or no, as it is given, which shall be entered on the minutes, together with the items of allowance.

Code 1858, § 4195 (deriv. Acts 1827, ch. 49, § 15); Shan., § 6015; Code 1932, § 10214; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-911.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 24.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Section.

This statute is not imperative, but merely directory, though it should always be complied with, because it prescribes wholesome regulations. Brooks v. Claiborne County, 67 Tenn. 43, 1874 Tenn. LEXIS 325 (1874).

2. Right of Presiding Officer to Vote.

In the absence of express authority, the county judge (now county mayor) cannot be considered a member of the county court (now county legislative body) and clothed with authority to vote as a member thereof, or to vote in case of a tie. Reeder v. Trotter, 142 Tenn. 37, 215 S.W. 400, 1919 Tenn. LEXIS 33 (1919).

3. Entry on Minutes.

Resolution not entered on the minutes of the county legislative body was void. Davidson County v. Olwill, 72 Tenn. 28, 1879 Tenn. LEXIS 3 (1879).

5-9-303. [Obsolete.]

Code Commission Notes.

Former § 5-9-303 (Code 1858, § 4217; Shan., § 6047; Code 1932, § 10252; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-912), concerning warrant requirement for disbursements, was deemed obsolete by the code commission in 2005. Comparable provisions are found in § 5-9-307(a).

5-9-304. Revenue docket — Entry of claims.

  1. In the revenue docket shall be entered all appropriations or allowances made by the county legislative body, all claims of jurors and officers for attendance, and all other claims chargeable against the county.
  2. The entry shall set forth the character, description, purpose, date and amount of every appropriation or allowance, and the minute book and page where the allowance was made.

Code 1858, §§ 496, 498; Shan., §§ 654, 656; Code 1932, §§ 1053, 1055; modified; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-913.

Cross-References. Revenue docket, § 5-8-106.

5-9-305. Revenue docket — Jurors' claims.

The evidence upon which claims of jurors shall be entered shall be a list of the same, with the number of days each has served, and the amount due to such juror, made out by the clerk of the court in which the service was rendered, under the seal of the court, delivered to the county clerk.

Code 1858, § 497; Shan., § 655; Code 1932, § 1054; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-914.

5-9-306. Revenue docket — Entry prerequisite to warrant issuance.

No warrant shall be drawn for any claim against the county treasury until the claim has been registered, by order of the county mayor, in the revenue docket.

Code 1858, § 526; Shan., § 671; Code 1932, § 1067; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-915; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 19 Tenn. Juris., Municipal, State and County Securities, § 3.

5-9-307. Warrant of county mayor required.

  1. No money shall be drawn out of the treasury of the county except upon the warrant of the county mayor.
    1. Upon the absence, death or incapacity of the county mayor, the chair of the county legislative body appointed pursuant to § 5-5-103(g), shall serve in the office of county mayor and may draw warrants upon the treasury of the county in the performance of the duties of office.
    2. Before commencing service as county mayor under this subsection (b), the chair of the county legislative body shall be bonded in accordance with  § 5-6-109.
    3. This subsection (b) shall not apply in any county that has a population according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census of:

      not less than  nor more than

      12,725 12,825

      20,300 20,400

      21,325 21,425

      22,277 22,350

      22,500 22,600

      23,850 23,900

      25,300 25,350

Code 1858, § 422 (deriv. Acts 1855-1856, ch. 253, § 8; 1857-1858, ch. 38, § 8); Shan., § 518; Code 1932, § 770; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-916; Acts 1984, ch. 780, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 24; 19 Tenn. Juris., Municipal, State and County Securities, §§ 3, 4.

Law Reviews.

The Constitutional Policy That Judges Be Learned in the Law (Frederic S. LeClercq), 47 Tenn. L. Rev. 689 (1980).

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of county executive (now county mayor) over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

County executive's [now county mayor's] authority over sheriff's department purchasing, OAG 99-051, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 48 (3/4/99).

5-9-308. Bills of cost — Certification.

  1. No warrant shall be drawn for costs against a county, unless the same has been regularly taxed by the clerk, examined by the presiding judge of the court in which the costs accrued, and by them certified, under the seal of the court, to be correctly taxed and lawfully chargeable upon the county.
  2. In making the certificate, the judge shall certify the aggregate amount of each bill of cost, writing the aggregate amount in both words and figures, and no bill of cost shall be paid unless so certified.

Code 1858, § 527; Acts 1897, ch. 29, § 1; Shan., § 672; Code 1932, § 1068; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-917; Acts 1998, ch. 1080, §§ 1, 2.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Application of Section.

This section applies to the certification of costs in criminal cases, and not to costs adjudged against a county in a tax suit. State ex rel. Hurt v. Alexander, 115 Tenn. 156, 90 S.W. 20, 1905 Tenn. LEXIS 52 (1905).

2. Mandamus for Issuance of Warrant.

Where no statute exists allowing costs, the county executive (now county mayor) cannot be compelled by mandamus to issue warrant for same. State v. Wilbur, 101 Tenn. 211, 47 S.W. 411, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1898).

3. Suspension of Payment of Warrant.

The county executive (now county mayor) may suspend payment of warrant for illegal costs erroneously issued. State ex rel. Donaldson v. Walker, 101 Tenn. 236, 47 S.W. 417, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 56 (1898).

5-9-309. Bills of cost — Correction.

If the county mayor, when a bill of costs authenticated as provided for in § 5-9-308 is presented to the county mayor, and the county mayor's warrant for the payment of the same demanded, conceives that the bill of costs, or any part of it, is not lawfully chargeable to the county, the county mayor may defer the issuance of the county mayor's warrant until the county mayor has moved the court for a correction of the taxation.

Code 1858, § 528; Shan., § 673; Code 1932, § 1069; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-918; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Construction with Other Sections.

This section and § 40-25-137, pertaining to taxation of costs against counties, are not antagonistic. Reagan v. Fentress County, 169 Tenn. 103, 83 S.W.2d 244, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 22 (1935).

2. Jurisdiction to Retax Costs.

The retaxation of costs must be made in the court determining the suit, and the retaxation of criminal costs cannot be made in the chancery court. State v. Richards, 120 Tenn. 477, 113 S.W. 370, 1908 Tenn. LEXIS 38 (1908).

3. Time for Motion to Retax.

The motion for the retaxation of criminal costs taxed and certified against a county is not barred, though not made at the first term of the court after judgment since the provisions of the statute do not limit the time within that such retaxation may be had, but it is the proper practice for the county executive (now county mayor) to make, as soon as may be, an examination of all bills of costs against the county and to move promptly for a retaxation in proper cases. State ex rel. Donaldson v. Walker, 101 Tenn. 236, 47 S.W. 417, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 56 (1898).

4. Party to Motion to Retax.

Motion for retaxation and correction of criminal costs improperly taxed and certified against the county by the judge and district attorney general lies in the name of the county and the county executive (now county mayor) who may defer the issuance of warrants therefor until the motion for the retaxation and correction is heard and the matter determined. Henderson v. Walker, 101 Tenn. 229, 47 S.W. 430, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 55 (1898).

5. Effect of Certification of Costs.

The action of the trial judge and district attorney general in examining and certifying costs against the county will not preclude the retaxation and correction of the same, and though such action be treated as having the force and effect of a judgment of the circuit court, still it would be void where it shows upon its face that it embraces items not allowed by law, for a judgment for costs against the state or county that is not authorized by statute is void, and the county executive (now county mayor) cannot legally pay a void judgment. State ex rel. Donaldson v. Walker, 101 Tenn. 236, 47 S.W. 417, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 56 (1898).

6. Suspension of Payment of Warrant.

The inadvertent and erroneous issuance of a county warrant for costs of a criminal case, illegally taxed and certified against the county, will not preclude or prevent the retaxation of the costs, and the county executive (now county mayor) may, under this section and § 5-9-308, without the aid of the statute codified in § 5-9-310, forbid and suspend the payment of the warrant until it can be purged of its illegal and unauthorized items. State ex rel. Donaldson v. Walker, 101 Tenn. 236, 47 S.W. 417, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 56 (1898).

7. Mandamus.

A mandamus suit to compel a county executive (now county mayor) to issue his warrant for costs need not be revived against his successor in office. The costs of such suit will be taxed to the county, where the county executive (now county mayor) was acting in good faith in contesting the right of the relator, for the benefit of the county. State ex rel. Sharpe v. Puckett, 75 Tenn. 709, 1881 Tenn. LEXIS 175 (1881); Hawkins v. Kercheval, 78 Tenn. 535, 1882 Tenn. LEXIS 220 (1882).

When items in a cost bill that a county executive (now county mayor) refuses to audit are illegal, mandamus will not issue to compel him to issue his warrant for their payment. State v. Wilbur, 101 Tenn. 211, 47 S.W. 411, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 53 (1898).

A mandamus suit will not lie to compel the county executive (now county mayor) to issue a new county warrant for what is actually due, without the return and surrender of an outstanding warrant embracing that sum, together with additional illegal items, where the county executive (now county mayor) has interdicted the payment of such outstanding warrant. State ex rel. Donaldson v. Walker, 101 Tenn. 236, 47 S.W. 417, 1898 Tenn. LEXIS 56 (1898).

5-9-310. Bills of cost — Disallowance.

  1. The county mayor, after the bills referred to in § 5-9-308 have been examined and approved by the judge and district attorney general, is granted full power, and it is made the county mayor's duty, to examine into, inspect and audit all bills of cost accruing against the county, and disallow any part of the bills of cost that may be illegally or wrongfully taxed against the county.
  2. The county mayor may disallow any and all costs taxed against the county on account of malicious, frivolous, or unnecessary prosecution, in the event the judge and district attorney general should, by mistake or otherwise, approve any of such bills.

Acts 1891 (Ex. Sess.), ch. 22, § 5; Shan., § 674; mod. Code 1932, § 1070; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-919; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-9-311. Pauper's burial — Affidavit.

No warrant shall be drawn to pay for the funeral or cremation expenses of a pauper, unless the claim is accompanied by an affidavit showing the cost of the same, that the expenses were incurred for the interment of a pauper in the county, and that the claimant has no other means of obtaining payment.

Code 1858, § 529; Shan., § 675; Code 1932, § 1071; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-920; Acts 2003, ch. 51, § 2.

5-9-312. Judgment against county — Tax levy.

Where judgment is obtained against a county, the county legislative body shall impose a tax to pay it, at the next regular imposition of taxes after the judgment; and the taxes, when levied and collected, shall be immediately applied to the payment of such judgment.

Code 1858, § 534 (deriv. Acts 1855-1856, ch. 90, § 1; 1857-1858, ch. 15, §§ 3, 4); Shan., § 681; Code 1932, § 1077; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-921.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 18 Tenn. Juris., Mandamus, § 9.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

This section and § 5-9-313 are a valid and constitutional enactment. Newman v. Justices of Scott County, 37 Tenn. 695, 1858 Tenn. LEXIS 100 (1858).

2. Damages for Condemnation.

Under this section a tax may be imposed to pay a judgment against a county in a condemnation suit to appropriate land for highway purposes and the owner of the judgment may compel the levying of the tax. State Highway Dep't v. Mitchell's Heirs, 142 Tenn. 58, 216 S.W. 336, 1919 Tenn. LEXIS 36 (1919).

Private Acts 1933, ch. 26, was not unconstitutional as a violation of Tenn. Const., art. I, § 21 as providing inadequate compensation in condemnation suits which such act authorized county highway commissioners to bring in the name of the county and which were to be satisfied out of county road funds as such road funds were merely the primary funds out of which the judgments under such act were to be satisfied and landowner would be entitled to resort to other remedies including the provisions of this section. Crockett County v. Walters, 170 Tenn. 337, 95 S.W.2d 305, 1935 Tenn. LEXIS 141 (1936).

3. Necessity of Judgment.

Private Acts 1917, ch. 288 is unconstitutional and void to the extent that it provides for the taking of private property for public use without providing adequate means or remedies to the owner for collecting his damages or just compensation for the property proposed to be taken, this section and § 5-9-313 affording aid only where a judgment has been rendered against the county; but this defect does not go to the integrity of the whole act and the board of highway commissioners may, under it, acquire lands necessary for road purposes by negotiation and purchase. Wright v. Donaldson, 144 Tenn. 255, 230 S.W. 605, 1921 Tenn. LEXIS 34 (1921).

5-9-313. Judgment against county — Mandamus.

  1. If, upon application of the person owning the judgment, the county legislative body refuses to impose the tax, a mandamus may be issued from either of the courts of law or equity in the county, ordering and compelling the imposition of a tax sufficient to discharge the amount of the judgment; or the party owning the judgment may appeal from the refusal of the county legislative body to impose the tax to the next term of the circuit court for the county.
  2. On trial of the appeal, the circuit court may make an order on the county legislative body, in the nature of a peremptory mandamus, to impose, levy and collect the tax, which order or peremptory mandamus shall be served on a majority of the members of the county legislative body. Service of the mandamus nisi on the county mayor shall be sufficient.

Code 1858, §§ 535, 536 (deriv. Acts 1855-1856, ch. 90, § 2; 1857-1858, ch. 15, §§ 5, 7); Shan., §§ 682, 683; Code 1932, §§ 1078, 1079; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 5-922; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Law Reviews.

Methods of Judicial Review over Administrative Actions in Tennessee, 13 Mem. St. U.L. Rev. 657 (1984).

Part 4
Agency Expenditures

5-9-401. County legislative body appropriates agency funds.

All funds from whatever source derived, including, but not limited to, taxes, county aid funds, federal funds, and fines, that are to be used in the operation and respective programs of the various departments, commissions, institutions, boards, offices and agencies of county governments shall be appropriated to such use by the county legislative bodies.

Acts 1959, ch. 190, § 1; 1976, ch. 615, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-924.

Attorney General Opinions. The interest earned on money in the school general-purpose fund may be used by the county government for non-school-related purposes.  If the interest earned on money in the school general-purpose fund is not currently appropriated to school funding, it is outside the county's “maintenance of effort” requirement and is not to be used in determining whether the “maintenance of effort” obligation has been met.  OAG 13-107, 2013 Tenn. AG LEXIS 112 (12/20/13).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Compensation for Special General Session Judges.

No statute explicitly requires counties to compensate special general sessions court judges appointed in accordance with T.C.A. § 17-2-116(a)(1); this obligation, however, must necessarily be implied from the statutes creating the general sessions courts, providing for their funding, and governing the selection not only of regular general sessions judges but also of their temporary replacements. State ex rel. Witcher v. Bilbrey, 878 S.W.2d 567, 1994 Tenn. App. LEXIS 103 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1994).

5-9-402. Agency budgets — LEAs — Waiver or alteration — Applicability.

  1. The county board of education, county highway commissioners or superintendents, and each of the other operating departments, commissions, institutions, boards, offices, and agencies of county government that expend county funds shall file with the county mayor for study and submission to the county legislative body or an appropriate committee of the county legislative body a budget as to funds estimated to be required by the particular department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency during the ensuing fiscal year.
  2. The agencies mentioned in subsection (a) shall not be required to file individual budgets when such agencies are under the supervisory control of a commission or a board that files such estimated budget with the county legislative body covering all departments under its control.
  3. If the county legislative body adopts a timeline and budgetary procedures for the county or if the county operates pursuant to a private act that establishes a timeline, then the proposed budgets described in subsection (a) shall be filed in accordance with that timeline; provided, however, the timeline for the budget of the local education agency (LEA) shall be established by the county legislative body with the concurrence of the county board of education.
  4. In the absence of a locally adopted schedule and procedures pursuant to subsection (c), the budgetary procedures for the county shall be as follows:
    1. No later than February 1, the forms for all budget requests shall be delivered to all departments, commissions, institutions, boards, offices, and agencies;
    2. No later than March 1, all departments, commissions, institutions, boards, offices, and agencies except the local board of education shall deliver the budget request to the county budget committee;
      1. No later than April 1, the county budget committee shall vote upon the proposed budget and shall notify the department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency whether the county budget committee approves or rejects the proposed budget;
      2. If approved, the county budget committee or the committee's designee shall immediately forward the proposed budget to the county legislative body for consideration; or
      3. If rejected, the department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency shall submit a revised budget proposal to the county budget committee within ten (10) business days after receipt of notice that the budget proposal was rejected;
    3. No later than May 1, each LEA shall submit a proposed budget to the county budget committee; provided that, the LEA may amend the proposed budget after May 1;
      1. No later than June 1, the county budget committee shall vote upon the proposed budget and shall notify the LEA whether the county budget committee approves or rejects the LEA's proposed budget;
      2. If approved, the county budget committee or the committee's designee shall immediately forward the proposed budget to the county legislative body for consideration; or
      3. If rejected, the LEA shall submit a revised budget proposal to the county budget committee within ten (10) business days after receipt of notice that the budget proposal was rejected;
    4. If the county budget committee of the local governing body rejects the first and second budget proposals from any department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency, then the third and any subsequent proposals shall be delivered directly to the county legislative body which shall approve or reject the proposal within ten (10) business days of the body's receipt of the amended proposal; and
    5. If rejected, the department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency shall submit a revised budget proposal to the county legislative body within ten (10) business days after receipt of notice that the budget proposal was rejected.
  5. The timeline and budgetary process pursuant to this section may be waived or altered, if agreed upon by the county legislative body and the respective department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency.
  6. This section shall not apply in any county having a population of more than three hundred twenty-five thousand (325,000), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Acts 1959, ch. 190, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-925; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2016, ch. 1080, § 1.

Compiler's Notes.  For U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 17 provided that section 1 of the act, which amended this section, shall not apply in any county having a population of more than three hundred twenty-five thousand (325,000) according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment, effective  January 1, 2017, in (a), inserted the commas following “superintendents” and “offices”, and deleted “, on or before April 1 of each year, or on such date as may be prescribed by the county legislative body,” preceding “a budget as to funds estimated”; and added (c)-(f).

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. January 1, 2017.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-9-403. Agency budgets — Form.

In all cases in which the form of the budget is not otherwise provided for by law, the comptroller of the treasury is authorized to prescribe the form, including certain standard accounts and classifications for the various operating departments of the several counties, and when so prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury, the budget shall be presented as required in § 5-9-402 in the form prescribed, including the accounts and classifications prescribed for a given county.

Acts 1959, ch. 190, § 3; 1961, ch. 299, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-926.

5-9-404. Agency budgets — Approval — Continuation operating budget.

  1. It is the duty of the county legislative bodies in regard to all departments, commissions, institutions, boards, offices, or agencies to adopt a budget and appropriate funds for the ensuing fiscal year.
    1. In the event that the local fiscal body has not adopted a budget by July 1 of any year, and until a final operating budget is adopted, the operating budget for the year just ended and the appropriation resolution for such year shall continue in effect by operation of law without further action of the county legislative body; provided, however, all agencies of the county and other entities receiving appropriated county funds shall not during any month encumber funds in excess of the allotment for a comparable month of the preceding fiscal year, unless specifically authorized to do so by resolution of the county legislative body. The authorizing resolution must identify a corresponding funding source equal to the amount of excess allotment authorized. The excess allotments so authorized shall become a part of the final operating budget. During the time that the continuation operating budget is in effect, the budget may be amended according to the procedures for amending a final operating budget, and amendments shall be made as necessary to provide for debt obligations and court-ordered expenditures.
    2. The continuing budget, authorized by this subsection (b), may continue in effect for the months of July and August and, upon approval from the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee after a showing of extraordinary circumstances, may continue for the month of September; provided, however, no such continuation budget may extend beyond September 30 of any fiscal year. The county shall submit justification for extending the continuing budget through the month of September to the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee for approval by August 15. The comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee may request any additional information as may be required to properly review the continuing budget extension request. The comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee shall report the comptroller's approval or disapproval to the county legislative body within seven (7) business days after receipt of the request and any requested supplemental documentation, upon which the county legislative body may take action to extend the continuing budget for the month of September. The fact that the county is operating under a continuation budget shall not, by itself, be grounds for disapproval of a tax and revenue anticipation note or other comparable financing.
  2. If the county legislative body and the county school board fail to agree upon a budget for the county department of education by August 31 of any year, then, by operation of law, the budget for the county department of education shall be equal to the minimum budget required to comply with the local match and maintenance of effort provisions of the BEP. However, if for three (3) consecutive years, the county legislative body and school board fail to agree upon a budget and the department of education receives the minimum required funding for that fiscal year by operation of law, then, the budget in the third year shall include a mandatory increase that is equivalent to three percent (3%) of the required funding from local sources for schools; provided, however, this increase shall not be required if during any of those three (3) years the LEA failed to submit its budget proposals in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-9-402. This subsection (c) shall not apply in any county having a population of more than three hundred twenty-five thousand (325,000) according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Acts 1959, ch. 190, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-927; Acts 2015, ch. 170, § 1; 2016, ch. 1080, § 2.

Compiler’s Notes. For U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 17 provided that section 2 of the act, which amended this section, shall not apply in any county having a population of more than three hundred twenty-five thousand (325,000) according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Amendments. The 2015 amendment redesignated former (b) as present (c) and added (b).

The 2016 amendment rewrote (c) which read: “(c) This section shall not be construed as affecting the laws relative to the budget of the county boards of education.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2015, ch. 170, § 5. April 16, 2015.

Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. May 20, 2016.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Appropriations.

Writ of mandamus was not proper to compel county commissioners to appropriate funds to construct new, replacement school. State ex rel. Weaver v. Ayers, 756 S.W.2d 217, 1988 Tenn. LEXIS 273 (Tenn. 1988).

5-9-405. Provisions constitute minimum requirements.

The requirements set forth in §§ 5-9-4015-9-404 shall constitute the minimum requirements of any department, commission, institution, board, office or agency of county government.

Acts 1959, ch. 190, § 5; T.C.A., § 5-928.

5-9-406. Exemptions from application.

This part shall not apply with respect to offices that operate on fees collected by such offices.

Acts 1959, ch. 190, § 6; T.C.A., § 5-929.

5-9-407. Budget amendments — Limitation — Procedure — Applicability.

  1. Under any procedure for amending the budget provided in this section, the budget may not be amended to reduce any expenditure required by law, and all requests for amendments to the school budgets shall be approved by the school board.
  2. Once a budget has been adopted, the budget, including line items and major categories, may be amended by passage of an amendment by a majority of the members of the county legislative body. If an official or department head is requesting the budget amendment and the amendment involves amendment of major categories of the budget, the request shall be submitted in writing to the county mayor and to each member of the county legislative body, and must be approved by the county legislative body in order to be effective. The county mayor may make a recommendation to the county legislative body regarding the requested major category amendment. The written request may be on an amendment request form, if one is specified by the county mayor, otherwise such amendment request shall specify the following:
    1. A description of the amendment, including the purpose of the amendment and why it is needed during the current fiscal year;
    2. A statement showing the cost of the amendment by budget line item with subclassifications showing specific cost elements (personnel, salaries, equipment, etc., included in the line item); and
    3. Funding sources for the expenditure itemized by federal sources, state sources, local sources or fund balance.
  3. After the adoption of a budget for the department of education, any proposed amendments to the budget submitted by the local board of education shall be approved or rejected by the county legislative body within forty (40) days of the receipt of the proposed amendments. This subsection (c) shall not apply in any county having a population of more than three hundred twenty-five thousand (325,000), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
  4. In addition to approval by the county legislative body as provided in subsection (b), there are two (2) alternative methods for adopting budget amendments to line items within a major category of the budget by which an official or department head may request approval of the amendment, except that amendment requests that have been disapproved by the county legislative body may not be approved under this subsection (d). The official or department head may request approval by the method outlined in subsection (b) or subdivision (d)(2) without first requesting approval under subdivision (d)(1).
      1. The first alternative method under this subsection (d) to amend line items within a major category of the budget, except for those affecting amounts budgeted for personnel costs and amendments affecting the administrative or other expenses relating to the functioning of the county commission that require amendment by the procedure outlined in subdivision (d)(2) or that require approval by the county legislative body, is by written approval of the county mayor.
      2. Prior to the county mayor's approval, the official or department head of the office or department whose budget is to be amended shall make a written amendment request on the amendment request form specified by the county mayor to include the information outlined in subdivisions (b)(1)-(3). If the county mayor fails to approve such an amendment request, the amendment request may be approved by a budget committee created by law, by a budget committee of the county legislative body appointed by the county legislative body to approve budget amendments, or by a majority vote of the county legislative body.
      1. The second alternative method for approval of any line item amendment, including, but not limited to, any line item amendment that in any way affects amounts budgeted for personnel costs, is by approval by a budget committee created by law or a budget committee of the county legislative body appointed by the county legislative body to approve budget amendments.
      2. Prior to any budget committee's approval, the official or department head of the affected office or department shall make a written amendment request specified by the committee to include the information outlined in subdivisions (b)(1)-(3). If the budget committee fails to approve such an amendment request, the amendment request may be approved by a majority vote of the county legislative body, but may not be approved by the county mayor pursuant to subdivision (d)(1).
  5. All budget amendments approved by the county mayor or a budget committee under subsection (d) shall be reported to the county legislative body in the next financial report.
      1. This section shall apply in every county unless a county exempts itself from this section by the adoption of a resolution by December 31, 1991.
      2. This section shall not apply in any county that has adopted Acts 1989, chapter 550.
      1. In any county that has a private act or has adopted chapter 12 of this title, this section is supplemental authority for an amendment to the budget.
      2. In any county subject to this section that is under chapter 21 of this title, in addition to the requirement of this section, an official or department head shall submit a budget request to the budget committee for its recommendations to the county mayor or county legislative body, or both, for approval.
    1. This section shall not apply to local education agencies as defined in § 49-1-103.
  6. “Major categories of the budget,” as used in this section, means major categories or summary accounts in the latest uniform chart of accounts as prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury.
    1. [Deleted by 2016 amendment.]
    2. This section does not apply in any county having a population of not less than three hundred nineteen thousand six hundred twenty-five (319,625) nor more than three hundred nineteen thousand seven hundred twenty-five (319,725), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Acts 1991, ch. 358, §§ 2-4; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2016, ch. 917, § 1; 2016, ch. 1080, § 3.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 17 provided that section 3 of the act, which amended this section, shall not apply in any county having a population of more than three hundred twenty-five thousand (325,000) according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment by ch. 917, deleted former (g)(1) which read: “This section does not apply in any county having a population of not less than eighty-eight thousand seven hundred (88,700) nor more than eighty-eight thousand eight hundred (88,800), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.”

The 2016 amendment  by ch. 1080, added (c) and redesignated former (c)-(g) to be present (d)-(h), respectively.

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 917, § 2. April 27, 2016.

Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. May 20, 2016.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. Personnel transfers in the sheriff's office — follow-up to OAG 07-106 (7/12/07), OAG 07-163, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 163 (12/12/07).

Transfer of county funds between major appropriation categories as a result of personnel adjustments in the sheriff's civil service system must be approved in accordance with applicable county budgeting statutes, OAG 07-106, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 106 (7/12/07).

Where county commission has hired an employee in the valid exercise of its authority, a county mayor may not unilaterally terminate that employee unless expressly authorized.  Nor may a county mayor defund or abolish an entire county department without the approval of the county commission.  OAG 14-28, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 29 (3/7/14).

Chapters 10, 11
[Reserved]

Part 1
County Budgeting Law of 1957

5-12-101. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “County Budgeting Law of 1957.”

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1201.

Cross-References. County financial management system, title 5, ch. 21.

Attorney General Opinions. Applicability to sheriff's department expenditures, OAG 98-010, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 10 (1/9/98).

5-12-102. Local approval — Form.

  1. This part shall be local in effect and shall become effective in a particular county upon the contingency of a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body or other governing body of the county approving this law, or upon the contingency of the majority of the voters casting votes in any election held for this purpose approving this law.
    1. The procedure for elections held for the purpose of approving this law shall be that the county election commission shall call and conduct an election within thirty (30) days after receiving a petition signed by ten percent (10%) of the qualified voters of the county, stating that they favor this law and requesting that an election be held in the county on the subject.
    2. The number of qualified voters in the county is deemed to be the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor in the last general election, or upon a resolution of the county legislative body or other governing body, duly certified to the election commission, requesting such an election.
    3. In such an election, the propositions to be voted upon shall be stated on the ballot on separate lines in the following manner: “For the County Budgeting Law of 1957” and “Against the County Budgeting Law of 1957.”

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1972, ch. 740, § 7; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1202.

5-12-103. Local approval — Effect.

Any county that adopts this law, or the budgeting system provided for in this part, in accordance with § 5-12-102, shall follow the general procedures set forth in this part in the preparation, adoption and execution of all budgets respecting all funds, activities and agencies of county government.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 3; T.C.A., § 5-1203.

5-12-104. Budget committee.

  1. A county budget committee is hereby created.
    1. Except as provided in subsection (e), the committee shall consist of five (5) members, one (1) of whom shall be the county mayor, and the other four (4) shall be appointed by the county mayor with the approval of the county governing body at its regular January session of each year or at any subsequent session.
    2. The members of the committee need not be members of the county governing body.
    3. The county mayor shall be the ex officio chair of the budget committee, and the director of accounts and budgets shall be the ex officio secretary of the budget committee.
    1. The county governing body may in its discretion allow members of the budget committee such compensation for their service as the commission may deem proper.
    2. Any provision for compensation, as well as provision for printing, publicity, supplies and other necessary expenses of the budget committee, shall be payable from the county general fund and shall be included in the annual appropriations.
  2. The budget committee shall perform all the duties respecting county budgets and appropriations now performed, or required to be performed, by the finance committee, tax levy committee or other committees of the county, and shall perform such other duties as provided in this part.
  3. In any county having a population of not less than one hundred fifty-six thousand eight hundred (156,800) nor more than one hundred fifty-six thousand nine hundred (156,900), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the committee shall consist of not more than nine (9) nor less than five (5) members, one (1) of whom shall be the county mayor. The other members shall be appointed by the county mayor with the approval of the county governing body at its regular January session of each year or at any subsequent session. The number of members shall be determined annually by the legislative body of the county.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1204; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2013, ch. 237, §§ 1, 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. T.C.A. § 45-2-405 authorizes any officer, director, or employee of any bank to serve in any local office, including on the county commission, the county budget committee, or the county purchasing commission, so long as he or she discloses the position to the bank and the local government, OAG 07-141, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 141 (10/10/07).

A shareholder of a bank that conducts business with the county is prohibited from serving as a county commissioner, or as a member of the county budget committee or the county purchasing commission, OAG 07-141, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 141 (10/10/07).

5-12-105. Fiscal year — Timeline and budgetary process for LEA.

  1. There is hereby created a fiscal year for the counties and for each office, department, institution, activity and agency thereof, which fiscal year shall begin on July 1 of each year and shall end on June 30 next following.
  2. The fiscal year shall constitute the budget year, and the year for accounting and reporting of each and every fund, office, department, institution, activity and agency of the county government; but this subsection (b) shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any accounting and reporting now required of any official by general law.
  3. If the county legislative body adopts a timeline and budgetary procedures for the county, then the estimates and budget proposals provided for in § 5-12-106 shall be filed in accordance with that timeline; provided, however, the timeline for the budget of the local education agency (LEA) shall be established by the county legislative body with the concurrence of the county board of education.
  4. In the absence of a locally adopted schedule and procedures pursuant to subsection (c), the budgetary procedures for the county shall follow the following timeline:
    1. No later than February 1, the director of accounts and budgets shall deliver forms for all budget requests to all departments, commissions, institutions, boards, offices, and agencies;
    2. No later than March 1, all departments, commissions, institutions, boards, offices, and agencies except the local board of education shall deliver the appropriate estimates and budget request to the director of accounts and budgets;
      1. No later than April 1, the county budget committee shall vote upon the proposed budget and the director of accounts and budgets shall notify the department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency whether the county budget committee approves or rejects the proposed budget;
      2. If approved, the director of accounts and budgets shall immediately forward the proposed budget to the county legislative body for consideration; or
      3. If rejected, the department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency shall submit a revised budget proposal to the director of accounts and budgets within ten (10) business days after receipt of notice that the budget proposal was rejected.
    3. No later than May 1, each LEA shall submit a proposed budget to the director of accounts and budgets; provided that, the LEA may amend the proposed budget after May 1;
      1. No later than June 1, the county budget committee shall vote upon the proposed budget and the director of accounts and budgets shall notify the LEA whether the county budget committee approves or rejects the LEA's proposed budget;
      2. If approved, the director of accounts and budgets shall immediately forward the proposed budget to the county legislative body for consideration; or
      3. If rejected, the LEA shall submit a revised budget proposal to the director of accounts and budgets within ten (10) business days after receipt of notice that the budget proposal was rejected;
    4. If the county budget committee of the local governing body rejects the first and second budget proposals from any department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency, then the third and any subsequent proposals shall be delivered directly to the county legislative body which shall approve or reject the proposal within ten (10) business days of the body's receipt of the amended proposal; and
    5. If rejected, the department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency shall submit a revised budget proposal to the county legislative body within ten (10) business days after receipt of notice that the budget proposal was rejected.
  5. The timeline and budgetary process pursuant to this section may be waived or altered, if agreed upon by the county legislative body and the respective department, commission, institution, board, office, or agency.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 5; T.C.A., § 5-1205; Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 4.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment, effective January 1, 2017, added (c)-(e).

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. January 1, 2017.

Cross-References. Fiscal year of county, § 9-1-101.

5-12-106. Budget estimates.

  1. The county highway commissioners or superintendent shall, in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105, file with the director of accounts and budgets an itemized statement of the funds estimated to be required for the county road program for the ensuing fiscal year and for the construction, operation, repair and maintenance of the county road system and for the general administration of the highway department, together with an estimate of the highway and road funds expected to be received during such fiscal year.
  2. The county board of education, after preparing its annual budget as now provided by law, shall file such budget with the director of accounts and budgets for inclusion in the complete budget document to be presented to the budget committee.
  3. The county mayor, in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105, shall file with the director of accounts and budgets an itemized statement of the amounts that the county mayor estimates are necessary to be expended from the county general fund, the debt service funds and from all other funds, excluding highway funds, school funds, and funds derived from the sale of bonds, together with an estimate of the revenue to be received during the next fiscal year.
  4. Each of the other operating departments, institutions, offices and agencies shall file with the director of accounts and budgets in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105 a detailed estimate of its requirements for expenditures from the county's funds for the ensuing fiscal year, together with an estimate of any county revenues to be received by such agency, office or department.
  5. The director of accounts and budgets shall file a consolidated budget document with the budget committee showing an itemized statement of the amounts estimated by the various departments and officials to be required for the efficient operation of the county government from the county general fund, the debt service funds, highway funds, school funds and all other funds, together with an estimate of the revenues estimated to be received by each of the funds during the next fiscal year and an estimate of the unencumbered cash balance of each of the funds at the beginning of the fiscal year.
  6. It is the duty of each official, office, department, institution, agent or employee of the county government to furnish in writing such information, in such form and at such time, as may be requested by the budget committee.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 6; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1206; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2; Acts 2016, ch. 1080, §§ 5, 6.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment, effective January 1, 2017, substituted “in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105” for  “on or before April 1 of each year” in (a), (c) and (d); and deleted “, on or before May 1 of each year,” preceding “shall file” near the beginning of (e).

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. January 1, 2017.

Cross-References. Application to school funds, superintendents and boards of education, § 5-12-113.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Circumvention of Budget Process.

T.C.A. § 5-12-106(d) of the County Budgeting Law of 1957 did not provide for a department head to circumvent the budget process for strategic or political reasons, and to file a detailed estimate of its requirements for expenditures from the county's funds for the fiscal year, together with an estimate of any county revenues to be received by the department; thus, the sheriff was estopped to pursue any claim for funding that was not presented to the county in a budget request proposal submitted to the county pursuant to the County Budgeting Law of 1957. Dorning v. Bailey, 223 S.W.3d 269, 2007 Tenn. App. LEXIS 8 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2007), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2007 Tenn. LEXIS 506 (Tenn. May 21, 2007).

2. Appropriations.

Writ of mandamus was not proper to compel county commissioners to appropriate funds to construct new, replacement school. State ex rel. Weaver v. Ayers, 756 S.W.2d 217, 1988 Tenn. LEXIS 273 (Tenn. 1988).

5-12-107. Committee action on budget.

    1. In accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105, the budget committee shall review and adopt the annual budget.
    2. The budget shall contain an itemized and classified plan of all proposed expenditures and estimated receipts for the ensuing fiscal year, and shall conform to the uniform classification of accounts established by the director of accounts and budgets.
    3. The classification of accounts must be first approved by the comptroller of the treasury.
    4. It is expressly provided that the classification of expenditures and receipts of any and all county school funds for any purpose, administered by the county board of education and the county director of schools shall conform in all respects to the classification of accounts as prescribed by the commissioner of education.
  1. Opposite each item of estimated revenue, the budget document shall show in opposite parallel columns the amount actually collected for the last completed fiscal year, a revised estimated amount for the current fiscal year, and the estimate for the ensuing fiscal year.
  2. Likewise, opposite each item of proposed expenditure, the budget document shall show the amount actually expended for such item during the last completed year, the probable amount that will be spent during the current fiscal year and the proposed appropriations or expenditure estimate for the ensuing fiscal year.
  3. In preparing the budget, the budget committee may revise, as it deems necessary, the estimates or requests made by the various departments, officials, offices, institutions and agencies of the county, but any county official or employee shall be entitled to a hearing before the budget committee with reference to any contemplated changes in the county official's or employee's budget requests or estimates.
  4. The budget committee shall certainly and fully provide in the budget for all requirements for debt service, interest and bond maturities and for any cash deficit in any fund at the beginning of the fiscal year, and shall propose a tentative tax rate for the current calendar year.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 7; 1961, ch. 277, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1207; Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 7.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment, effective January 1, 2017, substituted “In accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105” for “At least forty-five (45) days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year” at the beginning of (a)(1).

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. January 1, 2017.

5-12-108. Budget proposal — Public comment — Committee revisions.

      1. At least ten (10) days before the budget committee conducts a public hearing as provided in subdivision (a)(3), the budget committee shall cause the proposed annual operating budget to be published in a newspaper of general circulation.
      2. This budget shall contain a budgetary comparison for the following governmental funds:
        1. General;
        2. Highway/public works;
        3. General purpose school fund; and
        4. Debt service

        that shall include comparisons of the proposed budget with the current year and the prior year.

      3. The budgetary comparisons shall be by individual fund and shall summarize revenues by local taxes, state of Tennessee, federal government and other sources. Expenditures shall be summarized by salaries and other costs. The budgetary comparison shall also present beginning and ending fund balances and the number of employee positions.
    1. The publication shall also contain a notice of a public hearing to be conducted by the budget committee at which any citizen of the county shall have the right to appear and state such citizen's views on the budget.
    2. Such public hearing shall be held by the budget committee not later than ten (10) days prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
  1. Following such public hearing, the budget committee shall make the final revision of the budget document and prepare copies for presentation to the county governing body.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 8; 1967, ch. 390, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1208; Acts 1991, ch. 484, § 5.

Attorney General Opinions. The budget committee is not required to answer questions posed by citizens who attend the hearing required by the statute, OAG 01-061, 2001 Tenn. AG LEXIS 53 (4/19/01).

5-12-109. County governing body action on budget.

    1. The budget committee shall present the budget to the county governing body in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105.
    2. The proposed budget shall be accompanied by a budget message explaining the financial program and outlining the services, work and activities to be financed by the proposed budget and a brief discussion of the means proposed for financing the expenditure program set forth in the budget.
    3. With the proposed budget, the budget committee shall deliver to the county governing body a budget appropriation resolution and a tax levy resolution.
    1. The county legislative body may alter or revise the proposed budget except as to provision for debt service requirements and for other expenditures required by law.
    2. In the event that the local fiscal body has not adopted a budget by July 1 of any year, and until a final operating budget is adopted, the operating budget for the year just ended and the appropriation resolution for the year shall continue in effect by operation of law without further action of the county legislative body; provided, however, all agencies of the county and other entities receiving appropriated county funds shall not during any month encumber funds in excess of the allotment for a comparable month of the preceding fiscal year, unless specifically authorized to do so by resolution of the county legislative body. The authorizing resolution must identify a corresponding funding source equal to the amount of excess allotment authorized. The excess allotments so authorized shall become a part of the final operating budget. During the time that the continuation operating budget is in effect, the budget may be amended according to the procedures for amending a final operating budget, and amendments shall be made as necessary to provide for debt obligations and court-ordered expenditures.
    3. The continuing budget authorized by this subsection (b) may continue in effect for the months of July and August and, upon approval from the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee after a showing of extraordinary circumstances, may continue for the month of September; provided, however, no such continuation budget may extend beyond September 30 of any fiscal year. The county shall submit justification for extending the continuing budget through the month of September to the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee for approval by August 15. The comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee may request any additional information as may be required to properly review the continuing budget extension request. The comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee shall report the comptroller's approval or disapproval to the county legislative body within seven (7) business days, after receipt of the request and any requested supplemental documentation, upon which the county legislative body may take action to extend the continuing budget for the month of September. The fact that the county is operating under a continuation budget shall not, by itself, be grounds for disapproval of a tax and revenue anticipation note or other comparable financing.
  1. If the county legislative body and the county school board fail to agree upon a budget for the county department of education by August 31 of any year, then, by operation of law, the budget for the county department of education shall be equal to the minimum budget required to comply with the local match and maintenance of effort provisions of the BEP. However, if for three (3) consecutive years, the county legislative body and school board fail to agree upon a budget and the department of education receives the minimum required funding for that fiscal year by operation of law, then, the budget in the third year shall include a mandatory increase that is equivalent to three percent (3%) of the required funding from local sources for schools; provided, however, this increase shall not be required if during any of those three (3) years the school board failed to submit its budget proposals in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105.
  2. The budget, the appropriation resolution, and the tax levy resolution, as adopted, shall be spread upon the minutes of the county governing body.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 9; T.C.A., § 5-1209; Acts 2015, ch. 170, § 2; 2016, ch. 1080, §§  8, 9.

Amendments. The 2015 amendment rewrote (b), which read:  “(b)(1) The county governing body may alter or revise the proposed budget except as to provision for debt service requirements and for other expenditures required by law, but the county governing body shall finally adopt a budget not later than the third Monday in July. (2) Pending such final adoption, the director of accounts and budgets is hereby authorized to make temporary allotments for expenditures for essential county services, in amounts not in excess of the comparable allotment for an average quarter of the preceding fiscal year.”

The 2016 amendment, effective May 20, 2016, added (c) and redesignated former (c) to be present (d).

The 2016 amendment, effective January 1, 2017, substituted  “in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-105” for “at the regular July session each year or at a special session called for this purpose during the month of July” in (a)(1).

Effective Dates. Acts 2015, ch. 170, § 5. April 16, 2015.

Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. May 20, 2016; January 1, 2017.

5-12-110. Expenditures — Limitations and restrictions — Disbursement warrants.

  1. The appropriations made in the appropriation resolution, or any amendment thereto, shall constitute the limit to expenditures for the various purposes and from the several funds of such county for the fiscal year covered by the resolution, and no expenditure shall be made or obligation created in excess of such limitation.
  2. Any resolution presented to the county legislative body or other governing body in any fiscal year, after the original appropriation resolution has been adopted and the tax rate for the year fixed by that body, that provides for an appropriation in addition to those made in the original budget appropriation resolution, shall specifically provide sufficient revenue or other funds to meet expenditures to be made in consequence of such additional appropriation.
  3. If at any time during the fiscal year it shall become apparent that the revenues of any of the county's funds, together with its unencumbered cash balance at the beginning of such year, will not be sufficient to equal the amount of the original appropriations, it shall be the duty of the director of accounts and budgets and the county mayor to impound the appropriations from such fund in such amount as shall appear necessary, subject to the written approval of the budget committee.
    1. The appropriations made by the county legislative body or other governing body, as provided in subsections (a) through (c), shall constitute authorization for expenditures; and expenditures may be made and obligations created against any appropriation to an aggregate total of the amount appropriated for such item.
    2. However, the expenditures and encumbrances against the amounts appropriated shall be made only in consequence of an order issued by the purchasing agent and subsequent approval of the invoice by the director of accounts and budgets; except that payrolls and bills for telephones, water, gas, electric and other utility services shall first be checked and approved for payment by the various departments or otherwise as provided by law, and county obligations imposed by law shall be approved by the proper authority before being submitted to the director of accounts and budgets for payment.
    3. No expenditures made or obligations created in any manner other than so specified or authorized in this part shall be valid or binding against the county; provided, that the purchasing commission may issue such regulations as it deems necessary for the prompt handling of bona fide emergencies.
  4. Accounts and other obligations of the county department of education, other than payrolls, after preaudit by the director of accounts and budgets, shall be paid by disbursement warrants drawn on the county trustee by the county board of education, but copies of all disbursement warrants issued by the board of education, showing the accounting classification chargeable, shall be furnished by the board of education to the director of accounts and budgets daily as issued. In lieu of such requirement, such disbursement warrants may be prepared in the office of the director of accounts and budgets for the county board of education.
    1. Expenditures from all other funds of the county, except school funds, shall be made by disbursement warrants on the county trustee signed by the county mayor and the director of accounts and budgets, and no other official, department, institution or agency of the county shall issue negotiable warrants or vouchers for such expenditures.
    2. Before any disbursement warrant shall be issued in discharge of any obligation, a detailed invoice or statement thereof shall be filed with the director of accounts and budgets, and it shall be the director's duty to carefully check all such invoices to determine if they are correct, if the goods or services have been received or rendered as stated, and if the obligation is just, authorized or legally binding on the county.
  5. Bills and accounts incurred in accordance with authorized appropriations shall be paid promptly in order that the county may obtain the benefit of cash discounts; and for this purpose, it shall not be necessary for any such bill or account to be filed and recorded by the county clerk or to be approved before payment by the county legislative body or by any committee or commission appointed by it.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 10; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 22, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1210; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Application to school funds, superintendents and boards of education, § 5-12-113.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 19 Tenn. Juris., Municipal, State and County Securities, § 3.

Attorney General Opinions. Applicability to sheriff's department expenditures, OAG 98-010, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 10 (1/9/98).

5-12-111. Monthly report of director.

  1. The director of accounts and budgets shall make a report at the end of each month showing the condition of the budget.
    1. The report shall show for each item of appropriation, or allotment of each item of appropriation, or both, the total expenditures for the month and the year to date, the amount of outstanding encumbrances and the amount of the unencumbered balance.
    2. The report shall also show for each fund an itemized statement of the revenues and receipts estimated for the year, the amount of the collections of each item for the month and the year to date and the unrealized portion of the estimate.
    3. In a parallel column shall be shown the amount of each item or revenue during the comparable elapsed period of the preceding fiscal year.
    1. The most recent of such reports shall be presented by the county mayor at each regular session of the county legislative body or other governing body.
    2. At such time, the county mayor shall advise the county governing body of the condition of the budget, and of any adjustment or reduction of appropriations that should be made, and shall recommend any other action that, in the county mayor's opinion, the county governing body should take in order that the budget shall be kept in balance.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 11; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1211; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-12-112. Violations — Penalties.

Any official or employee of the county, or of any institution or agency thereof, who fails or refuses to perform the duties required of that official or employee by this part, or who fails or refuses otherwise to conform to this part, commits a Class C misdemeanor and is subject to removal from that official's or employee's position.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 12; T.C.A., § 5-1212; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Attorney General Opinions. Applicability to sheriff's department expenditures, OAG 98-010, 1998 Tenn. AG LEXIS 10 (1/9/98).

5-12-113. Application to schools, etc.

This part shall not apply to county school funds for any purpose, the county board of education, and the county director of schools unless approved by the commissioner of education.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 12a; T.C.A., § 5-1213.

5-12-114. Construction of part.

  1. It is not the intent of this part to repeal or supersede any private or local law concerning budgeting systems.
  2. This part is not exclusive and shall not prevent the adoption of amendments to existing special or local laws pertaining to county budgeting systems, or the enactment of special or local budgeting systems.

Acts 1957, ch. 291, § 13; T.C.A., § 5-1214.

Part 2
Local Option Budgeting Law of 1993

5-12-201. Short title — Applicability.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “Local Option Budgeting Law of 1993” and applies only to any county having adopted its provisions by approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 1.

Attorney General Opinions. Local Option Budgeting Law and Private Act, OAG 00-059, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 60 (4/3/00).

5-12-202. Part definitions.

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Budget committee” refers only to a budget committee created by law, such as being created according to the County Financial Management System of 1981, compiled in chapter 21 of this title, the County Budgeting Law of 1957, compiled in part 1 of this chapter, or similar provision, or created by private act;
  2. “Chief administrative officer of the county highway department” means the officer or entity having the general control and authority over the county highway department in accordance with § 54-7-109;
  3. “County mayor or budget committee,” in counties not having a budget committee as referred to in subdivision (1), means the county mayor; and
  4. “Long-term debt” means debt payable after June 30 of the fiscal year, for which the budget is applicable.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 2; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-12-203. Applicability.

This part applies to each department, office or agency funded, in whole or in part, from county appropriations. Nevertheless, with regard to entities receiving county funds pursuant to § 5-9-109, only the requested county appropriation and expenditures of county funds shall be included within this part.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 3.

5-12-204. Duties of comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee not precluded.

Nothing in this part shall be construed as precluding the duties of the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee pursuant to §§ 9-11-116 and 9-21-403.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 4; 2010, ch. 868, § 12.

5-12-205. Conflicts with other laws.

If a county included in this part has adopted the County Financial Management System of 1981, compiled in chapter 21 of this title, the County Budgeting Law of 1957, compiled in part 1 of this chapter, or private acts, and such county does not revoke or repeal such act, in the event of a conflict between this part and such acts, this part shall not supersede those acts, except that  § 5-12-210 shall supersede any other law.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 5.

5-12-206. Forms on which to submit a proposed budget.

The county mayor of each county shall furnish to the head of each department, office or agency covered by this part, on or before February 1 of each year, budget forms on which to submit a proposed budget. Such forms shall contain the minimum requirements prescribed by the comptroller of the treasury, and shall include space for additional information desired by the county mayor and such additional information desired by the budget committee in counties having a budget committee.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 6; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-12-207. County mayor to furnish an estimate of revenue.

The county mayor shall furnish to the director of schools and to the chief administrative officer of the county highway department an estimate of the amount of revenue to be generated by one cent (1¢) of the county property tax for each taxing jurisdiction for the ensuing fiscal year and a form tax rate resolution on or before March 15 of each year. The assessor of property shall furnish such assessor's best estimate of the actual assessed value of all taxable property within the county for the ensuing year to the county mayor before March 15 of each year.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 7; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-12-208. Each department head to provide proposed budget document.

  1. The head of each department, office or agency covered by this part shall provide the county mayor or, if a director of accounts and budgets, director of finance, or similar person is provided by law, then to such official, with a proposed budget document on the budget forms on or before March 1 of each year.
  2. The director of schools and the chief administrative officer of the county highway department shall file, with the proposed budget, a proposed tax rate on the tax rate resolution form necessary to fund the requested budget of the department. The proposed budget submitted by these officials shall include estimated total revenues and other resources sufficient to fund the total proposed appropriations. Appropriations shall be included in an amount sufficient to fund the annual county debt service requirements.
  3. The county mayor or budget committee shall allow any department, office, or agency to alter or amend the submitted budget at any time prior to when the proposed budget is submitted to the county legislative body. The county mayor or budget committee may allow submission of amendments after the budget is submitted to the county legislative body, but not later than the adoption of the budget.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 8; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2016, ch. 1080, §§ 10, 11.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment, effective January 1, 2017, substituted “March 1 of each year” for “April 1 of each year” at the end of (a); and, in (c), substituted “prior to when the proposed budget is submitted to the county legislative body” for “prior to May 15, or such other time as the proposed budget is submitted to the county legislative body, whichever occurs first” at the end of the first sentence, substituted “but not later than the adoption of the budget” for “but not later than June 15 or the adoption of the budget, whichever occurs first” at the of the second sentence, and deleted the former last sentence which read: “Each alteration or amendment must be submitted in writing.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. January 1, 2017.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-12-209. Review of proposed budgets — Presentation to county legislative body.

  1. On or before June 1 of each year, the county mayor or budget committee shall consolidate and review the various department, office and agency budgets, and other proposed appropriations, if any. Any change in the budget proposed by the county mayor or budget committee shall be reviewed by the county mayor or budget committee with the affected officer or department or agency head, and an attempt will be made to arrive at a mutually acceptable budget amount. If the county mayor or budget committee reaches agreement with the affected officers, department and agency heads, then this change shall be reflected in the consolidated budget and accompanying property tax rate resolution and appropriation resolution, which shall be presented to the county legislative body. If the county mayor or budget committee cannot reach agreement with any affected officer or department or agency head concerning the budget of the office, department or agency, then the consolidated budget shall be presented to the county legislative body with the original proposed budget for the office, department or agency affected, and the county mayor or budget committee shall submit the proposed budget changes in a separate accompanying document, or as an additional column of information in the consolidated budget, and shall also submit this with a property tax rate resolution and appropriation resolution. The county mayor or budget committee shall outline the proposed changes to the consolidated budget and shall state the reasons for the proposed changes in a budget message to the county legislative body.
  2. The county mayor or budget committee may propose changes to the consolidated budget, the property tax rate resolution and appropriation resolution until the same are approved by the county legislative body, or until July 15, whichever occurs first.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 9; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-12-210. Adoption of budget, tax rate and appropriation resolution.

  1. The county legislative body shall each year adopt a budget, tax rate and appropriation resolution on or before twelve o'clock (12:00) midnight of the earlier of the date provided in any private act, or applicable under the County Financial Management System of 1981, compiled in chapter 21 of this title; or applicable under the County Budgeting Law of 1957, compiled in part 1 of this chapter; or July 31, for the fiscal year beginning on the first day of such July. Nevertheless, if the budget, tax rate and appropriation resolution are not adopted by the county legislative body on or before twelve o'clock (12:00) midnight on June 30 for the ensuing fiscal year, all departments and offices of the county may make expenditures according to the budget of that department or office as adopted for the preceding fiscal year, except that such departments and offices are limited to expenditures and obligations based on a monthly allotment from the preceding fiscal year's budget.
    1. If the county legislative body and the county school board fail to agree upon a budget for the county department of education by August 31 of any year, then, by operation of law, the budget for the county department of education shall be equal to the minimum budget required to comply with the local match and maintenance of effort provisions of the BEP. However, if for three (3) consecutive years, the county legislative body and school board fail to agree upon a budget and the department of education receives the minimum required funding for that fiscal year by operation of law, then, the budget in the third year shall include a mandatory increase that is equivalent to three percent (3%) of the required funding from local sources for schools; provided, however, this increase shall not be required if during any of those three (3) years the school board failed to submit its budget proposals in accordance with a timeline provided for in § 5-12-208.
    2. If the county legislative body fails to adopt a budget, property tax resolution, and appropriation resolution by August 31 of any year, then by operation of law, the operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year, other than the portion for the county department of education, shall be the consolidated budget with proposed amendments submitted by the county mayor or the budget committee.
  2. All budget proposals, including the consolidated budget proposal submitted by the county mayor or budget committee and the budget as finally adopted, shall establish the number and salaries of all full-time personnel authorized therein.
  3. The budget as adopted shall be balanced as to all funds.
  4. The setting of the tax rate, by approval of the county legislative body, by operation of law, or otherwise according to law, constitutes a valid tax levy for collection purposes in accordance with this part.
  5. The board of education, through its designated representative, has the right to address the county legislative body in regard to the board's budget and tax rate proposals.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 10; 1996, ch. 697, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2016, ch. 1080, § 12.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Amendments. The 2016 amendment rewrote (b) which read: “(b) If the county legislative body fails to adopt a budget, property tax rate resolution and appropriation resolution by August 15 of any year, then the portion of the consolidated budget for the county department of education, as proposed by the board of education or modified with the agreement of the board of education, and the accompanying property tax rate for education and the appropriation for the county department of education, embodied in the submitted resolutions, shall become effective by operation of law for the ensuing fiscal year. If the county legislative body fails to adopt a budget, property tax rate resolution and appropriation resolution by August 15 of any year, then the operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year, other than the portion for the county department of education, shall be the consolidated budget with proposed amendments submitted by the county mayor or the budget committee.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2016, ch. 1080, § 18. May 20, 2016.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. Local Option Budgeting Law and Private Act, OAG 00-059, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 60 (4/3/00).

5-12-211. Right to petition for additional deputies and assistants not precluded.

The budget shall have attached to it any court order or letter of agreement setting forth the number of authorized deputies and assistants pursuant to title 8, chapter 20, for the trustee, clerks of courts, register of deeds, county clerk and sheriff. Nothing in this part precludes the trustee, clerks of courts, register of deeds or county clerk from the right to petition the appropriate court for necessary deputies and assistants pursuant to title 8, chapter 20, nor is the right of the sheriff, as provided in § 8-20-120, precluded by this part.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 11.

5-12-212. Requests for budget amendment — Approval.

When the budget has been adopted, whether by action of the county legislative body or by operation of law, any budget amendment requested by any department to appropriate local, state or federal revenues, received in excess of the estimates used to adopt the budget, may be approved by a majority vote of the county legislative body. Notwithstanding, any department requesting such approval shall give written notice to the county mayor at least seven (7) calendar days prior to consideration of the request by the county legislative body. Other amendments shall be approved as provided in § 5-12-213.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 12; 1994, ch. 656, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-12-213. Who may make amendments to the budget — Compliance with court orders.

    1. Amendments to line items within a major category of the budget may be made by the official or department head of the office or department whose budget is to be amended, including those county officials named in § 5-12-211, and by the assessor of property, upon written notice to the county mayor and the county legislative body. Any line item amendment that in any way affects amounts budgeted for personnel costs, however, shall require approval of the county mayor to be effective, or if the county mayor disapproves or fails to take action on the amendment within seven (7) calendar days after written submission of the amendment, the county legislative body may approve the amendment by a two-thirds (2/3) vote.
    2. Amendments to line items within major categories of the budget for departments other than the school department, highway department, the officials named in § 5-12-211 or the assessor may be made with approval of the county mayor and a committee of the county legislative body specifically authorized by law or authorized by the county legislative body to approve such amendments. If no committee is created or the committee disapproves or fails to approve the requested line item amendment within twenty-one (21) days after written submission of the request to the chair of the committee, the amendment may be approved by the county legislative body. However, if amendments to the line items within major appropriation categories of the budget are not approved by the county mayor, or the county mayor fails to take action within seven (7) calendar days after written submission of the amendment to the county mayor, such amendment may be subsequently approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body.
    3. When the budget has been adopted, whether by action of the county legislative body or by operation of law, amendments to major categories of the budget may be made with the approval of the county mayor, or a committee appointed by the county mayor, and passage of the amendment by a majority vote of the county legislative body. If the county mayor, or the committee appointed by the mayor, does not approve the amendments to the major appropriation categories of the budget, or if the county mayor, or the committee appointed by the mayor, fails to take action on the amendment within seven (7) calendar days after written submission of the amendment to the county mayor, such amendment may be subsequently approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body. The amendments to major categories of the budget must be submitted in writing to the county mayor and the county legislative body and shall specify the following:
      1. A description of the amendment, including the purpose of the amendment and why it is needed during the current fiscal year;
      2. A statement showing the cost of the amendment by budget line item with subclassifications showing specific cost elements (personnel, salaries, equipment, etc., included in the line item); and
      3. Funding sources for the expenditure itemized by federal sources, state sources, local sources or fund balance.
  1. All amendments to the budget of the school department shall first be approved by the county board of education, and all amendments to the budget of the county highway department shall first be approved by the chief administrative officer of the county highway department.
  2. Notwithstanding, amendments shall be made to comply with any court order entered pursuant to title 8, chapter 20.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 13; 1994, ch. 656, §§ 2, 3; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2020, ch. 697, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment rewrote the first and second sentences of (a)(3), which read: “(3) When the budget has been adopted, whether by action of the county legislative body or by operation of law, amendments to major categories of the budget may be made with the approval of the county mayor and passage of the amendment by a majority vote of the county legislative body. If amendments to the major appropriation categories of the budget are not approved by the county mayor, or the county mayor fails to take action on the amendment within seven (7) calendar days after written submission of the amendment to the county mayor, such amendment may be subsequently approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 697, § 2. June 15, 2020.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-12-214. Approval of appropriation for capital expenditures to be financed by long-term debt.

Any appropriation for capital expenditures to be financed by long-term debt shall not be expended or obligated until the issuance of the long-term debt has been approved by the county legislative body and the comptroller of the treasury or the comptroller's designee as required by law.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 14; 2010, ch. 868, § 13.

5-12-215. Impoundment power to prevent deficit operation — Override — Applicability.

  1. If at any time the county mayor determines that the revenues or other resources are, with respect to any fund, less than was anticipated in the adopted budget, or if unanticipated expenditures arise that will likely create a budget deficit, the county mayor, upon certification to each member of the county legislative body, may impound such appropriation as may be necessary to prevent deficit operation. Such impoundment power may be overridden by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body, if the county legislative body makes such amendments at the same meeting to the budget as may be necessary to prevent deficit operation. Such necessary amendment requires a majority vote of the county legislative body. Notwithstanding this section, there shall be no impoundment of funds previously appropriated to the trustee, clerks of courts, register of deeds, county clerk, assessor of property or sheriff.
  2. This section is inapplicable to counties having impoundment provisions under other provisions of law.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 15; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. Local Option Budgeting Law and Private Act, OAG 00-059, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 60 (4/3/00).

5-12-216. Modification of dates.

If good cause is shown, such as, but not limited to, a reappraisal of property within the county, the comptroller of the treasury may, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, modify any dates required under this part in a particular county.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 16.

5-12-217. Creation of a revenue fluctuation major category.

The county legislative body may, in its discretion and with the approval of the county mayor, county board of education, or chief administrative officer of the county highway department whose budget is affected, create a reservation of fund balance for such revenue fluctuations for any fund or funds. Such reservation of revenue fluctuations shall be available to fund shortfalls in revenue or to meet unforeseen increases in operating expenses, or both.

Acts 1993, ch. 431, § 17; 1994, ch. 656, § 4; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Chapter 13
County Fiscal Procedure Law of 1957

5-13-101. Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the “County Fiscal Procedure Law of 1957.”

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1301.

Cross-References. County financial management system, title 5, ch. 21.

5-13-102. Local approval.

  1. This chapter shall be local in effect and shall become effective in a particular county upon the contingency of a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body or other governing body of the county approving this law, or upon the contingency of the majority of the voters casting votes in any election held for this purpose approving this law.
    1. The procedure for elections held for the purpose of approving this law shall be that the county election commission shall call and conduct an election within thirty (30) days after receiving a petition signed by ten percent (10%) of the qualified voters of the county stating that they favor this law and requesting that an election be held in the county on the subject.
    2. The number of qualified voters in the county is deemed to be the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor in the last general election, or upon a resolution of the county legislative body or other governing body, duly certified to the election commission, requesting such an election.
    3. In such an election, the propositions to be voted upon shall be stated on the ballot on separate lines in the following manner: “For the County Fiscal Procedure Law of 1957” and “Against the County Fiscal Procedure Law of 1957.”

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1972, ch. 740, § 7; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1302.

5-13-103. Director of accounts and budgets — Appointment — Compensation — Staff.

  1. The county mayor of any county that has adopted this part shall appoint, with the approval of the county legislative body or other governing body, a director of accounts and budgets who shall be a county employee.
  2. The director of accounts and budgets shall be qualified by training and experience in the field of accounting to perform the director's duties in a proficient manner and in accordance with generally recognized principles of governmental accounting.
    1. Before assuming the director's duties the director shall execute a corporate surety bond, the amount of which shall be established by the county mayor at not less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
    2. The bond shall be prepared in accordance with title 8, chapter 19, approved by the county legislative body, recorded in the office of the county register of deeds and transmitted to the office of the county clerk for safekeeping.
    3. The premium for such bond shall be paid from the county general fund.
    1. The compensation of the director, which shall not be in excess of compensation allowed county officials in accordance with §§ 8-24-101 and 8-24-102, shall be set annually by the county legislative body or other governing body of the county.
    2. The amount of such compensation, the compensation of such stenographers, typists or assistants as the director may need, and the other necessary expenses of the director's office shall be provided for by annual appropriation from the county general fund.
  3. The director has the power, in accordance with such regulations as may be established from time to time by the county mayor, to appoint and remove the director's assistants, to prescribe their duties, and to fix their salaries within the limits of the annual appropriation.
    1. In any county having a population of not less than thirty-eight thousand six hundred (38,600) nor more than thirty-eight thousand seven hundred (38,700), according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the director shall not be terminated or discharged without the approval of the county legislative body.
    2. This subsection (f) shall not apply in any county that has a metropolitan form of government.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; Acts 1979, ch. 101, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1303; Acts 1998, ch. 677, § 3; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2013, ch. 315, §§ 11, 12.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 2013, ch. 315, § 31 provided that the act, which amended subsection (c), shall apply to the renewal or obtaining an official bond for any bonding after April 29, 2013.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-13-104. Fiscal procedure system.

  1. There shall be set up and maintained in the office of the director of accounts and budgets a system of fiscal procedure, control and centralized accounting, set out and described in this section, which shall be under the administrative control and direction of the director; but such system shall be conducted in full accordance with the general law of this state respecting the duties and responsibilities of the county mayor as fiscal agent of the county.
  2. The system of fiscal procedure, control and accounting provided for in this section shall conform to generally accepted principles of governmental accounting and shall be in substantial agreement with the recommendations of the national committee on governmental accounting.
  3. The system shall include such records and procedures as may be required to accurately reflect the assets, liabilities, income and expenditures of each fund of the county, together with such records, accounts and files as are necessary to record and control:
    1. The transactions relating to county revenues, and the revenues for each of its several funds;
    2. The transactions relating to the adopted budget and appropriations, including the expenditures and encumbrances against each item of appropriations;
    3. The transactions relating to the bonded debt; and
    4. Such other records as may be necessary to facilitate the operation of the adopted budget and the proper accounting for each item of county expenditure.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1304; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. County mayor as county financial officer, §§ 5-6-1085-6-110, 5-6-112.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-13-105. Director of accounts and budgets — Accounting duties generally.

  1. It is the duty of the director of accounts and budgets to:
    1. Post and otherwise keep the records of the central accounting system;
    2. Verify all bills, invoices, payrolls and claims against the county before payment; and
    3. Check the settlements and reports of the various officials and department heads of the county government.
    1. The director shall also, after careful preaudit of invoices, bills and claims against the county or any of its funds, prepare disbursement warrants on all county funds.
    2. It is the duty of such director to sign all county disbursement warrants as evidence of such director's audit and approval of the expenditure made thereby, but no disbursement warrant drawn on the county trustee shall become a county liability payable by the county trustee until such warrant shall also have been signed by the county mayor, county director of schools, or other official or officials whose signatures are required on such warrants.
    1. The director shall install, with the approval of the comptroller of the treasury, a uniform classification of accounts, including a classification of revenues and expenditures, to be used in accounting, budgeting and financial reporting respecting all county funds, offices, agencies and activities of the county governments, with the exception of school funds administered by the county board of education and the county director of schools, and shall prescribe the forms to be used by each official and employee of the county in connection therewith.
    2. The classification of expenditures and receipts of county school funds shall conform to the classification of accounts as prescribed by the commissioner of education.
    1. The director shall set up and maintain a double entry system of accounting for recording the transactions of all of the county's funds, including both proprietary and budgetary accounts, in conformity with the requirements set out in § 5-13-104.
    2. The accounts shall be kept on the modified cash basis.
    1. The director shall set up the necessary accounts to properly record the annual budget and each appropriation made by the county legislative body.
    2. All encumbrances, expenditures or other charges against any item of the budget shall be promptly recorded in order that the unencumbered balance of each item of the budget shall be readily ascertainable at all times.
    1. At the end of each month, the director shall prepare a comprehensive report of all revenues and expenditures of the county and of each of its several funds, departments, offices, agencies and activities, all encumbrances against the several appropriations, and the condition of each item of appropriation in the annual budget.
    2. The most recent of such reports shall be presented to the county legislative body at each quarterly meeting and copies of such reports shall be furnished the members thereof.
    1. The director shall preaudit all payrolls of the county before payment and shall maintain complete earnings records of each employee of the county.
    2. The director and the county mayor are hereby authorized to maintain a special county payroll account at a local bank at the county seat, in which disbursement warrants for the total of each payroll may be deposited and against which individual net earning checks may be issued to each of the county employees.
    3. The county mayor may authorize the issuance of such payroll checks on the signature of the director, and in such event the depository bank shall be so instructed.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 5; 1961, ch. 276, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1305; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 19 Tenn. Juris., Municipal, State and County Securities, § 3.

5-13-106. Receipt of funds.

Excepting taxes such as the county trustee is authorized to collect, the payment of all moneys to the county trustee by any collectors authorized by statute, or by anyone on account due the county, shall be made only by issuance of a receivable warrant signed by the county mayor instructing the trustee to receive the amount named, for which the trustee shall issue a receipt, a duplicate of which shall be delivered to the director of accounts and budgets to be used by the director in posting the accounting records.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 6; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1306; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-13-107. Disbursement of funds.

  1. Before any obligation against the county shall be paid or any disbursement warrant or voucher issued therefor, a detailed invoice or statement approved by the head of the office, department or agency for which the obligation was made shall be filed with the director of accounts and budgets.
  2. The director shall make a careful preaudit of such invoice or statement, including a comparison with any encumbrance document previously posted or filed authorizing such obligation, and shall approve for payment only such items as appear to be correct, properly authorized, and not exceeding the otherwise unencumbered balance of the allotments or appropriations against which they are chargeable.
  3. Disbursement warrants shall be promptly prepared for all such approved items by the director and mailed or delivered to the payees thereof.
  4. A duplicate copy of all disbursement warrants, with all original invoices or other supporting documents, or both, attached to the duplicate copies, shall be kept on file in the office of the director.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 7; T.C.A., § 5-1307.

Cross-References. Preparation of disbursement warrant by director, § 5-13-105.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 19 Tenn. Juris., Municipal, State and County Securities, § 3.

5-13-108. Agency reports and information.

  1. Each official, office, department, institution, agency, board, committee, commission or employee of the county shall furnish such information and make such reports as may be required to properly maintain the central accounting system and fiscal procedures herein authorized and prescribed, and such information and reports shall be furnished at such times and in such form as may be prescribed by the director of accounts and budgets.
  2. The records of all county offices, departments and agencies shall be made available by their respective officials or employees for examination at all reasonable hours by the director.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 8; T.C.A., § 5-1308.

5-13-109. Violations — Penalties.

Any official named in this chapter, or any other official, agent or employee of the county who fails or refuses to perform the duties required of that official, agent or employee under this chapter, or who otherwise fails or refuses to conform to this chapter, commits a Class C misdemeanor and is subject to removal from office.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 9; T.C.A., § 5-1309; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

5-13-110. Application to schools, etc.

This chapter shall not apply to county school funds for any purpose, the county board of education, and the county director of schools unless approved by the commissioner of education.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 9A; T.C.A., § 5-1310.

5-13-111. Construction of chapter.

This chapter is not exclusive and shall not prevent the adoption of amendments to existing special or local laws pertaining to fiscal procedure, control and accounting, or the enactment of special or local acts creating central accounting systems, fiscal procedures, and offices of director of accounts and budgets.

Acts 1957, ch. 313, § 10; T.C.A., § 5-1311.

Chapter 14
County Purchasing

Part 1
County Purchasing Law of 1957

5-14-101. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “County Purchasing Law of 1957.”

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1401.

Cross-References. Applicability to county election commission, administrator of elections, or any county election official, § 2-12-210.

Centralized purchasing procedure to be utilized, § 8-22-107.

County financial management system, purchasing provisions, §§ 5-21-1185-21-120.

Public contracts, title 12, ch. 4.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 27.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

Title 5, chapter 14, part 1 contains what the general assembly clearly regards as the essentials of competitive bidding applicable to county governing entities and county officials. State ex rel. Leech v. Wright, 622 S.W.2d 807, 1981 Tenn. LEXIS 496 (Tenn. 1981).

Only falsity alleged was that a contract was violative of the Purchasing Act's provisions and therefore unlawful, but as the Purchasing Act was not applicable, none of the claims of Tennessee False Claims Act violations could stand. Cotham v. Yeager, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2020).

5-14-102. Local approval.

  1. This part shall be local in effect and shall become effective in a particular county upon the contingency of a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body or other governing body of the county approving this law, or upon the contingency of the majority of the voters casting votes in any election held for this purpose approving this law.
    1. The procedure for elections held for the purpose of approving this law shall be that the county election commission shall call and conduct an election within thirty (30) days after receiving a petition signed by ten percent (10%) of the qualified voters of the county, stating that they favor this law and requesting that an election be held in the county on the subject.
    2. The number of qualified voters in the county is deemed to be the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor in the last general election, or upon a resolution of the county legislative body, or other governing body, duly certified to the election commission, requesting such an election.
    3. In such an election, the propositions to be voted upon shall be stated on the ballot on separate lines in the following manner: “For the County Purchasing Law of 1957” and “Against the County Purchasing Law of 1957.”

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1972, ch. 740, § 7; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1402.

5-14-103. Purchasing agent — Appointment — Compensation — Staff.

  1. The county mayor of any county that has adopted this part shall appoint, with the approval of the county legislative body or other governing body, a purchasing agent who shall be a county employee.
  2. A purchasing agent shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the purchasing agent's duties in a proficient manner and in accordance with generally recognized principles of governmental purchasing and in accordance with this part.
    1. Before assuming the purchasing agent's duties, a purchasing agent shall execute a corporate surety bond, the amount of which shall be established by the county mayor at not less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
    2. The bond shall be prepared in accordance with title 8, chapter 19, approved by the county legislative body, recorded in the office of the county register of deeds and transmitted to the office of the county clerk for safekeeping.
    3. The premium for such bond shall be paid from the county general fund.
  3. The compensation of the purchasing agent, which shall not be in excess of compensation allowed county officials in accordance with §§ 8-24-101 and 8-24-102, shall be set annually by the county legislative body or other governing body; and the amount of such compensation, the compensation of such clerks and assistants as may be needed, and the other necessary expenses of this office shall be provided for by annual appropriation made by the county legislative body or other governing body from the county general fund.
  4. The purchasing agent has the power, in accordance with such regulations as may be established by the county mayor, to appoint and remove the purchasing agent's assistants, to prescribe their duties, and to fix their salaries within the limits of the annual appropriation made therefor.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1403; Acts 1998, ch. 677, § 4; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2013, ch. 315, §§ 13, 14.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 2013, ch. 315, § 31 provided that the act, which amended subsection (c), shall apply to the renewal or obtaining an official bond for any bonding after April 29, 2013.

Cross-References. County financial management system, finance director as purchasing agent, § 5-21-118.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-14-104. Purchasing agent — Office.

  1. Necessary office space and equipment for the use of the purchasing agent shall be provided and maintained at the county seat of such county.
  2. Such office shall be open for business during the usual hours observed by other officials of the county government.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 14; T.C.A., § 5-1404.

5-14-105. Purchasing agent — Powers and duties.

The county purchasing agent has exclusive power and it is the purchasing agent's duty to:

  1. Contract for and purchase all supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services required by each and every official, agency, office, department or employee of the county government, or that is supported by, or under control of, the county government and that expends or encumbers any of the county's funds. No other official, employee or agent of the county or of any of its departments or agencies shall be authorized to contract for or purchase any such materials, supplies, equipment or contractual services;
  2. Arrange for the rental of machinery, buildings or equipment when the rents are to be paid out of funds belonging to the county or any department, institution or agency thereof; and no other official, employee or agent of the county shall have the right or power to make any contract for such rental;
  3. Transfer materials, supplies and equipment to or between county departments and agencies as may be needed for the proper and efficient administration of the county government; and
  4. Have charge of any central storeroom or central mailing room or similar services that may hereafter be established for the efficient and economical handling of the county's business.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 4; T.C.A., § 5-1405.

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of juvenile court to assess fees for services provided to the juvenile, OAG 99-147, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 161 (7/30/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Applicability.

Agreement between the county and the business did not require the expenditure or encumbrance of any county funds because the county was not purchasing anything; rather, the services provided by the business were completely paid for by inmates or call recipients with the business paying a commission on such revenue to the county. The trial court correctly found that, since this arrangement neither expended nor encumbered any county funds, the County Purchasing Act of 1957 did not apply. Cotham v. Yeager, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2020).

5-14-106. County purchasing commission.

  1. A county purchasing commission is hereby created.
    1. The commission shall consist of five (5) members, one (1) of whom shall be the county mayor; the remaining four (4) shall be appointed by the county mayor with the approval of the county governing body.
    2. The members of the commission need not be members of the county governing body.
  2. Such commission shall elect its own chair and shall meet from time to time as it may deem necessary for the discharge of its duties.
  3. It is the duty of the commission to assist the purchasing agent in the determination of overall purchasing policies and in the establishment and promulgation, in accordance with this part, of rules, regulations and procedures to be followed in the making of purchases and contracts for purchase for the county. The actual administration of such activity shall be the sole responsibility of the purchasing agent.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 5; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1406; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. T.C.A. § 45-2-405 authorizes any officer, director, or employee of any bank to serve in any local office, including on the county commission, the county budget committee, or the county purchasing commission, so long as he or she discloses the position to the bank and the local government, OAG 07-141, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 141 (10/10/07).

A shareholder of a bank that conducts business with the county is prohibited from serving as a county commissioner, or as a member of the county budget committee or the county purchasing commission, OAG 07-141, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 141 (10/10/07).

5-14-107. Rules and regulations.

The county purchasing agent, with the assistance of the county purchasing commission, shall adopt, promulgate, and may from time to time amend, rules and regulations for the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services and specifically for the following purposes:

  1. Authorizing in writing any department, official or agency of the county government to make purchases in the open market for immediate delivery in emergencies, defining such emergencies, describing the manner in which such emergency purchases shall be made and promptly afterward reported to the county purchasing agent;
  2. Prescribing the manner in which supplies, materials and equipment shall be requisitioned, purchased, delivered, stored and distributed, and providing that such shall be conducted in accordance with this part;
  3. Prescribing the dates for submitting requisitions and estimates, the future period they are to cover, the form in which they are to be submitted, the manner of their authentication, and their revision by the county purchasing agent;
  4. Prescribing the manner of inspecting all deliveries of supplies, materials and equipment, and of making or procuring chemical and physical tests of samples submitted with bids and samples of deliveries to determine compliance with specifications;
  5. Requiring periodical and special reports by county departments, agencies, and employees of stocks of surplus, unusable or obsolete supplies and equipment on hand and prescribing the form of such reports;
  6. Providing for the transfer to or between county departments and agencies of supplies and equipment on hand, that are surplus with one (1) department or agency, but that may be needed by another or others, and for the disposal by sale, after receipt of competitive bids, of supplies, materials and equipment that are obsolete or unusable;
  7. Determining whether a deposit or bond is to be submitted with a bid on a purchase contract or sale, and if required, prescribing the amount and form thereof, and providing that such surety shall be forfeited if the successful bidder refuses to enter into contract ten (10) days after the award;
  8. Prescribing the manner in which invoices for supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services delivered to any and all departments, agencies and offices of the county shall be submitted, examined and approved;
  9. Providing for all other such matters as may be necessary to give effect to the foregoing rules and to this part; and
  10. Prescribing the manner in which public auctions for the sale of county-owned property, real or personal, that has become surplus, obsolete or unusable shall be conducted.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 4; T.C.A., § 5-1405; Acts 1984, ch. 647, § 1.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 27.

5-14-108. Purchases, sales, etc. — Bidding, auctions.

    1. All purchases of and contracts for purchases of supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services, and all contracts for the lease or rental of equipment, and all sales of county-owned property that has become surplus, obsolete or unusable, shall be based wherever possible on competitive bids.
    2. Contracts for legal services, auditing services by certified public accountants, and similar services by professional persons or groups of high ethical standards shall not be based upon competitive bids but shall be awarded on the basis of recognized competence and integrity.
    3. Bids need not be required for services for which the rate or price is fixed by a public authority authorized by law to fix such rates or prices.
    4. The prohibition in this subsection (a) against competitive bidding shall not prohibit the county from interviewing eligible persons or groups to determine the capabilities of such persons or groups.
  1. The county may purchase materials, supplies, commodities and equipment from any federal, state or local governmental unit or agency, without conforming to the competitive bidding requirements of this part.
    1. If the amount of the expenditure or sale is estimated to exceed five hundred dollars ($500), sealed bids shall be solicited, unless the county legislative body by resolution establishes a higher amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
    2. The county legislative body by resolution may exempt perishable commodities from the requirements of sealed or competitive bidding when such items are purchased in the open market.
    3. The county purchasing agent shall solicit sealed bids by public notice inserted at least once in a newspaper of county-wide circulation, five (5) days prior to the final date for submitting bids or by posting notices on a public bulletin board in the county courthouse.
    4. The county purchasing agent shall also, when deemed necessary or desirable, solicit sealed bids by sending requests by mail to prospective suppliers.
    5. All such notices shall include a general description of the commodities or contractual services to be purchased or property to be sold, and shall state where bid blanks and specifications may be obtained and the time and place of opening bids.
    1. All purchases or sales in amounts that do not require bid solicitation pursuant to subsection (c) may be made by the county purchasing agent in the open market without newspaper notice, but shall whenever possible be based upon at least three (3) competitive bids.
    2. Requisitions for items estimated to cost an amount such as to require public newspaper notice shall not be subdivided in order to circumvent the requirement for public newspaper notice as herein provided.
    3. All sales by the purchasing agent shall be made to the highest responsible bidder.
  2. Bids on purchases shall in all cases be based on such standards as may be adopted and promulgated by the county purchasing agent and approved by the county purchasing commission.
  3. All open market purchase orders or contracts made by the county purchasing agent or in extreme emergencies by any county department or agency shall be awarded to the lowest and best bidder, taking into consideration the qualities of the articles to be supplied, their conformity with specifications, their suitability to the requirements of the county government, and the delivery terms. Any or all bids may be rejected for good cause.
  4. All bids taken under the requirements of this part, and all other documents, including purchase orders, pertaining to the award of contracts on such bids, shall be preserved for a period of five (5) years.
  5. If all bids received on a pending contract are for the same unit price or total amount, the county purchasing agent shall have authority to reject all bids and to purchase the required supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services in the open market; provided, that the price paid in the open market does not exceed the bid price.
  6. All sealed bids received shall be opened publicly at the time and place fixed in the advertisement. Each bid, with the name and address of the bidder, shall be entered on a record, and each record with the names of the bidders, the amounts of their bids, and the name of the successful bidder indicated thereon, shall, after the award or contract or order, be open to public inspection.
  7. All contracts shall be approved as to form by the county attorney, and the original copy of each long-term contract shall be filed with the county clerk.
  8. No purchase shall be made or purchase order or contract of purchase issued but in consequence of a written requisition for the supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services required, which requisition shall be signed by the head of the department, office or agency of the county requiring such articles or services. Original copies of all such requisitions shall be kept on file in the office of the county purchasing agent.
  9. No purchase shall be made or purchase order or contract of purchase issued for tangible personal property or services by county officials or employees, acting in their official capacity, from any firm or individual whose business tax or license is delinquent.
    1. The county purchasing agent is authorized to purchase and contract to purchase materials, supplies, equipment and contractual services on a fiscal year basis, but no commitment shall be made that extends beyond the end of the current fiscal year for which appropriations have been made by the county legislative body, except such commitments as are authorized by resolution of the county legislative body.
    2. In the determination of the county's annual needs of certain commodities or services, or both, the county purchasing agent may request the various departments, offices and agencies of the county government to anticipate their needs for the remainder of the fiscal year and to issue their requisitions based upon such estimates.
    1. Perishable commodities, at the election of the local governing body, may be exempted from the requirements of public advertisements and competitive bidding when such items are purchased in the open market.
    2. A record of all such purchases shall be made by the purchasing agent and shall specify the amount paid, the items purchased, and from whom the purchase was made.
    3. A report of such purchases shall be made to the county mayor and the governing body of the county at frequencies specified by the governing body.
    4. Fuel and fuel products may be purchased in the open market without public newspaper notice, but shall whenever possible be based on at least three (3) competitive bids. Fuel and fuel products may be purchased from the department of general services' contract where available.
    5. This subsection (n) shall apply to any county having a population of not less than seventy-seven thousand seven hundred (77,700) nor more than seventy-seven thousand eight hundred (77,800), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent census, if it is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body of any county to which it may apply.
    1. All sales of county-owned property, real or personal in nature, that has become surplus, obsolete or unusable shall be made by public auction or by sealed bid under this section, in the discretion of the purchasing agent or responsible official. “Public auction” includes sale by Internet auction.
    2. The county purchasing agent shall give public notice of such auction by inserting at least once in a newspaper of county-wide circulation or by posting on a public bulletin board in the county courthouse at least five (5) days prior to the date of such auction, a notice specifying the auction date, time, place, property to be sold and terms of such auction.
    3. This subsection (o) does not apply to any books, recordings, or other material previously in general circulation at a county public library; provided, however, that the county public library shall conduct a public sale of surplus, obsolete or otherwise unusable books, recordings or other materials previously in general circulation at the county public library and shall give public notice of such sale by inserting at least once in a newspaper of county-wide circulation, by posting such sale on a web site maintained by the county, or by posting on a public bulletin board in the county courthouse and at the county public library at least five (5) days prior to the date of such sale, a notice specifying generally that such a sale shall occur, including the dates, times, places, and terms of such sale.
    4. Notwithstanding any other law, a procedure may be established upon approval by resolution or ordinance, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the county legislative body, to provide the purchasing agent, upon request of the county mayor, the authority to declare county owned personal property with an accumulative estimated value of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or less surplus, obsolete, or unusable personal property and to dispose of the personal property, at the purchasing agent's discretion, by selling the personal property on the open market or by gift, trade, or barter to a nonprofit or charitable organization properly incorporated under the laws of this state and in which no part of the net earnings of the organization inures or may lawfully inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and that it provides services benefiting the general welfare of the residents of the county. Items having an accumulative estimated value that exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000) shall not be subdivided in order to circumvent the requirement for public notice or receipt of sealed bids or selling the property through public or Internet auction. The purchasing agent shall keep all records of transactions of the disposal of personal property under this subdivision (o)(4) for a minimum of five (5) years.
  10. In any county having a population of not less than one hundred seven thousand one hundred (107,100) nor more than one hundred seven thousand two hundred (107,200), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the county may purchase and enter into contracts for group health insurance for county employees and officials without conforming to the competitive bidding requirements of this part. This subsection (p) shall only be implemented in any county to which this subsection (p) applies upon the adoption of a resolution by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body of such county.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 7; 1963, ch. 367, § 1; 1975, ch. 53, § 1; 1977, ch. 119, §§ 1, 2; 1977, ch. 288, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 22, 36; modified; T.C.A., § 5-1408; Acts 1984, ch. 604, § 1; 1984, ch. 647, §§ 2-5; 1984, ch. 822, § 1; 1984, ch. 895, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 770, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 179, § 1; 2004, ch. 500, § 1; 2006, ch. 509, § 1; 2007, ch. 122, § 1; 2007, ch. 135, § 1; 2007, ch. 415, § 1; 2009, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 2010, ch. 974, § 1; 2013, ch. 162, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 1977, ch. 288, § 1 amended this section as it applies to any county of 63,500 to 65,000 (Blount County only).

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Advisory committee for use of the Internet, title 12, ch. 3, part 11.

Distributing and posting solicitations and responses electronically, § 12-3-1004.

Standard specifications for lubricating motor oil, § 12-3-807.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 27.

Attorney General Opinions. Authorization of the county commission is required for the sale of property of the county board of hospital directors; unless the county has adopted the County Purchasing Law of 1957, T.C.A. §§ 5-14-101, et seq., or the County Financial Management System of 1981, T.C.A. §§ 5-21-101, et seq., the commission may authorize sale of the property without advertising for bids, OAG 03-131, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 149 (10/03/03).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

Title 5, chapter 14, part 1 contains what the general assembly of this state clearly regards as the essentials of competitive bidding applicable to county governing entities and county officials. State ex rel. Leech v. Wright, 622 S.W.2d 807, 1981 Tenn. LEXIS 496 (Tenn. 1981).

2. Applicability.

County did not agree to lease or rent any of the equipment installed by the business, and the contracts granted the business the right and license to install, maintain, and derive revenue from the equipment the business installed at the county jail; thus, the requirements of the statute concerning the Purchasing Act's applicability had not been met. Cotham v. Yeager, — S.W.3d —, 2020 Tenn. App. LEXIS 26 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2020).

5-14-109. Purchases — Certification of adequate funding.

Except in emergencies, no order for delivery on a contract or open market order for supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services for any county department or agency shall be awarded unless it shall be first certified by the director of accounts and budgets, or other county official or employee in charge of the central accounting records of the county that the unencumbered balance in the appropriation chargeable with such purchase in excess of all unpaid obligations, is sufficient to defray the entire cost of such order or contract.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 8; T.C.A., § 5-1409.

5-14-110. Emergency purchases.

  1. The county purchasing agent may authorize any department or agency of the county government to purchase in the open market, without filing requisition or estimate, any supplies, materials or equipment for immediate delivery in actual emergencies arising from unforeseen causes, including delays by contractors, delays in transportation, and unanticipated volume of work; but such emergencies shall not include conditions arising from neglect or indifference in anticipating normal needs.
    1. Such direct emergency purchases, however, may only be made by department or agency heads at times when the office of the county purchasing agent is closed.
    2. At all other times, only the county purchasing agent shall make these purchases.
    3. A report of such emergency purchase, when made by a department or agency head, together with a record of the competitive bids secured and upon which it was based, shall be submitted in writing to the county purchasing agent before the close of the next working day following the date of such purchase, by the head of the county department or agency concerned, together with a full and complete account of the circumstances of such emergency.
    4. Such report shall be kept on file and shall be open to public inspection.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 9; T.C.A., § 5-1410.

5-14-111. Written orders and contracts.

  1. Each purchase order or contract issued or executed pursuant to this chapter shall be evidenced by a written order signed by the county purchasing agent, which shall give all significant details respecting such order or contract.
  2. A copy of such order shall be furnished the vendor, one (1) copy shall be furnished to the county accounting department, and at least two (2) copies shall be retained in the office of the county purchasing agent, one (1) of such copies to be filed in numerical order and the other alphabetically.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 11; T.C.A., § 5-1411.

5-14-112. Purchasing standards and specifications.

  1. It is the duty of the county purchasing agent to:
    1. Classify the requirements of the county government for supplies, materials and equipment;
    2. Adopt as standards the smallest number of quantities, sizes and varieties of such supplies, materials and equipment consistent with the successful operation of the county government; and
    3. Prepare, adopt and promulgate written specifications describing such standards.
    1. In the preparation and revision of such standards, the county purchasing agent shall seek the advice, assistance and cooperation of the county departments and agencies concerned, to ascertain their precise requirements.
    2. Each specification adopted for any commodity shall, insofar as possible, satisfy the requirements of the majority of the county departments and agencies that use the same.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 12; T.C.A., § 5-1412.

5-14-113. Liability of county.

The county shall be liable for the payment of all purchases of supplies, materials, equipment and contractual service made in accordance with this chapter, but shall not be liable for the payment of such purchases made contrary to its provisions.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 13; T.C.A., § 5-1413.

5-14-114. Conflicts of interest — Illegal payments.

  1. Neither the county purchasing agent, nor members of the county purchasing commission, nor members of the county legislative body, nor other officials of the county, shall be financially interested, or have any personal beneficial interest, either directly or indirectly, in any contract or purchase order for any supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services used by or furnished to any department or agency of the county government.
  2. Nor shall any such persons accept or receive, directly or indirectly, from any person, firm or corporation to which any contract or purchase order may be awarded, by rebate, gift or otherwise, any money or anything of value whatsoever, or any promise, obligation or contract for future reward or compensation.
  3. A violation of this section is a Class D felony.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 10; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1414; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 18.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class D felony, § 40-35-111.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 8 Tenn. Juris., Counties, § 27.

Attorney General Opinions. Acceptance of gifts from contracting companies, OAG 94-73, 1994 Tenn. AG LEXIS 76 (6/16/94).

T.C.A. § 5-14-114(a) does not prohibit county commissioners from being directly or indirectly interested in a spouse's full-time employment contract with the county because such a contract is not a “contract or purchase order … for contractual services” within the meaning of the statute, OAG 00-152, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 154 (10/6/00).

A county commissioner who works part-time as an independent contractor for a department of county government is prohibited from being directly or indirectly interested in county supply and service contracts, OAG 00-152, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 154 (10/6/00).

A shareholder of a bank that conducts business with the county is prohibited from serving as a county commissioner, or as a member of the county budget committee or the county purchasing commission, OAG 07-141, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 141 (10/10/07).

Conflicts of Interest under T.C.A. § 5-14-114.  OAG 12-65, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 65 (6/27/12).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

While T.C.A. § 5-14-114 is not unconstitutionally vague, it is violative of equal protection guaranties. State v. Whitehead, 43 S.W.3d 921, 2000 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 742 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2000).

There is no fundamental right to a financial or “personal beneficial” interest in county contracts; moreover, the class of citizens to which T.C.A. § 5-14-114 applies is not discrete, and in consequence, is not suspect. State v. Whitehead, 43 S.W.3d 921, 2000 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 742 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2000).

The legislature's classification of a county official's conflict of interest with regard to a county contract as a Class D felony in only those counties adopting the County Purchasing Law of 1957 was purely arbitrary and could not withstand the defendant's equal protection challenge. State v. Whitehead, 43 S.W.3d 921, 2000 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 742 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2000).

5-14-115. Application to schools.

  1. This part shall not apply to county school funds for any purpose, the county board of education and the county director of schools, unless approved by the commissioner of education.
  2. Upon request by a majority vote of the local board of education and with the approval of the commissioner of education, applicability of this part as it applies to county school funds shall cease to be effective.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 14a; T.C.A., § 5-1415; Acts 1982, ch. 809, § 1.

5-14-116. Construction of part.

This part is not exclusive and shall not prevent the adoption of amendments to existing special or local purchasing laws, or the enactment of special or local purchasing acts.

Acts 1957, ch. 312, § 15; T.C.A., § 5-1416.

Part 2
County Purchasing Law of 1983

5-14-201. Short title.

This part shall be known and may be cited as the “County Purchasing Law of 1983.”

Acts 1983, ch. 451, § 1.

Cross-References. County financial management system, purchasing provisions, §§ 5-21-1185-21-120.

Law Reviews.

Selected Tennessee Legislation of 1983 (N. L. Resener, J. A. Whitson, K. J. Miller), 50 Tenn. L. Rev. 785 (1983).

5-14-202. Application of part.

This part applies to all purchases by authorized officials in all counties using or encumbering county funds, except that this part does not apply to purchases:

  1. Made from county highway funds pursuant to § 54-7-113;
  2. Made from county education funds pursuant to § 49-2-203;
  3. Made by any county that has adopted either the County Purchasing Law of 1957, compiled in part 1 of this chapter, or the County Financial Management System of 1981, compiled in chapter 21 of this title;
  4. Made by any county governed by a private act regarding purchasing if such private act provides for advertisement and competitive bidding before a purchase is made and if the dollar amount for each purchase requiring advertisement and competitive bidding is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or some lesser amount;
  5. Made under  § 12-3-1201;
  6. Made by any county having a population of seven hundred thousand (700,000) or more according to any federal census and governed by a private act regarding purchasing, if such private act provides for advertisement and competitive bidding before a purchase is made and if the dollar amount for each purchase requiring advertisement and competitive bidding is five thousand dollars ($5,000) or some lesser amount;
  7. From nonprofit corporations, such as the Local Government Data Processing Corporation, whose purpose is to provide goods or services specifically to counties; or
  8. Made by a county with a population of not less than two hundred thousand (200,000) according to any federal census, so long as the county through county or metropolitan government charter, private act, or ordinance has established a procedure regarding purchasing that provides for advertisement and competitive bidding and sets a dollar amount for each purchase requiring advertisement and competitive bidding; provided, that purchases of less than the dollar amount requiring advertisement and competitive bidding shall, wherever possible, be based upon at least three (3) competitive bids.

Acts 1983, ch. 451, § 2; 1990, ch. 820, § 1; 1995, ch. 179, §§ 2, 3; 2007, ch. 135, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 12-3-1001, formerly referred to in this section, was transferred to § 12-3-1201 by Acts 2013, ch. 403, § 68, effective July 1, 2013.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Attorney General Opinions. The exemption under T.C.A. § 5-14-202(4) to the County Purchasing Law of 1983 applies to purchase made by purchasing committee established by a private act, OAG 02-096, 2002 Tenn. AG LEXIS 101 (9/3/02).

5-14-203. Limits on purchases.

All purchases made from funds subject to the authority of this part shall be made within the limits of the approved budget and the appropriations made for the department, office or agency for which the purchase is made.

Acts 1983, ch. 451, § 3.

5-14-204. Bidding — Exceptions.

All purchases and leases or lease-purchase agreements shall be made or entered into only after public advertisement and competitive bid, except as follows:

  1. Purchases costing less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000); provided, that this exemption shall not apply to purchases of like items that individually cost less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), but that are customarily purchased in lots of two (2) or more, if the total purchase price of such items would exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) during any fiscal year;
    1. Any goods or services that may not be procured by competitive means because of the existence of a single source of supply or because of a proprietary product;
    2. A record of all such sole source or proprietary purchases shall be made by the person or body authorizing such purchases and shall specify the amount paid, the items purchased, and from whom the purchases were made;
    3. A report of such sole source or proprietary purchases shall be made as soon as possible to the county governing body and the county mayor of the county and shall include all items of information as required in the record;
    1. Purchases or leases of any supplies, materials or equipment for immediate delivery in actual emergencies arising from unforeseen causes, including delays by contractors, delays in transportation, and unanticipated volume of work;
    2. A record of any emergency purchase shall be made by the person or body authorizing such emergency purchase, and shall specify the amount paid, the items purchased, from whom the purchase was made and the nature of the emergency;
    3. A report of any emergency purchase shall be made as soon as possible to the county governing body and the county mayor, and shall include all items of information as required in the record;
  2. Leases or lease-purchase agreements requiring total payments of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or less in each fiscal year the agreement is in effect; provided, that this exemption shall not apply to leases of like or related items that individually may be leased or lease-purchased with total payments of less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in any fiscal year, but that are customarily leased or lease-purchased in numbers of two (2) or more, if the total lease or lease-purchase payments for such items under a single agreement would exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in any fiscal year;
    1. Governing bodies may exempt perishable commodities from the requirements of public advertisement and competitive bidding when such items are purchased in the open market;
    2. A record of all such purchases shall be made by the person or body authorizing such purchases and shall specify the amount paid, the items purchased, and from whom the purchase was made;
    3. A report of such purchases shall be made, at least monthly, to the county mayor and the governing body and shall include all items of information as required in the record; and
  3. Fuel and fuel products may be purchased in the open market without public advertisement, but shall whenever possible be based on at least three (3) competitive bids. Fuel and fuel products may be purchased from the department of general services' contract where available.

Acts 1983, ch. 451, § 4; 1988, ch. 770, § 3; 1995, ch. 179, § 4; 2007, ch. 135, § 3.

5-14-205. Expenditures under $10,000.

All purchases, leases or lease-purchase arrangements with expenditures of less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in any fiscal year may be made in the open market without newspaper notice, but shall, wherever possible, be based upon at least three (3) competitive bids.

Acts 1983, ch. 451, § 5; 1995, ch. 179, § 5; 2007, ch. 135, § 4.

5-14-206. Stricter requirements — Regulations.

  1. County governing bodies are specifically authorized to lower the dollar amounts required in this part for public advertisement and competitive bidding to an amount to be set by the county governing body.
  2. County governing bodies are specifically authorized to adopt regulations providing procedures for implementing this part.

Acts 1983, ch. 451, § 6.

5-14-207. Bid specifications for purchases of chemical products.

  1. Bid specifications for purchases of chemical products pursuant to this chapter shall require that the manufacturer of the chemical products create and maintain a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for such chemical products on the national MSDSSEARCH repository or the manufacturer's web site so that the information can be accessed by means of the Internet. A site operated by or on behalf of the manufacturer or a relevant trade association is acceptable so long as the information is freely accessible to the public.
  2. The URL for MSDSSEARCH shall be posted on the web site of the department of general services as provided in § 12-3-808. In lieu of posting a MSDS on MSDSSEARCH, a bidder shall include the manufacturer's URL for their MSDS in the bid proposal or purchase order.

Acts 2003, ch. 184, § 1; 2004, ch. 613, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 12-3-217, formerly referred to in subsection (b), was transferred to § 12-3-808, by Acts 2013, ch. 403, § 48, effective July 1, 2013.

The universal resource locator (URL) for MSDSSEARCH is currently  http://www.msdssearch.com.

Cross-References. Municipal purchasing law, bid specifications for purchases of chemical products, § 6-56-307.

Chapter 15
[Reserved]

Chapter 16
Urban Type Public Facilities

5-16-101. Power granted to counties — Chapter definitions.

  1. The various counties of this state are hereby authorized to establish, construct, install, acquire, operate and maintain urban type public facilities in any area or areas within their borders, and to charge fees, rates and charges for such facilities.
  2. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
    1. “Other governing body” means only that body having the taxing authority; and
    2. “Urban type public facilities” means and includes sanitary and storm sewer lines and facilities, plants for the collection, treatment and disposal of sewage and waste matter, facilities and plants for the incineration or other disposal of garbage, trash, ashes and other waste matter, or water supply and distribution lines, facilities and plants, chemical pipelines and docks, or all of these things, and fire protection and emergency medical services.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 1; 1965, ch. 326, §§ 1, 2; 1967, ch. 308, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1601; Acts 2007, ch. 107, § 1; 2008, ch. 1034, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. County-wide fire departments, title 5, ch. 17.

Garbage, rubbish collection, title 5, ch. 19.

Local government public works, similar services, title 7, chs. 51-65.

Sanitary landfills, title 68, ch. 213.

Solid waste disposal, title 68, ch. 211.

Law Reviews.

Local Government Law — 1961 Tennessee Survey (Eugene Puett), 14 Vand. L. Rev. 1335 (1961).

Attorney General Opinions. Effect of Tenn. Const., Art. II, § 29, OAG 90-39, 1990 Tenn. AG LEXIS 41 (3/19/90).

5-16-102. Resolution of authorization.

For the exercise of the powers conferred by this chapter, a county shall authorize same by resolution adopted by a majority of the county legislative body or other governing body. Such resolution shall provide for the exercise of such powers by either:

  1. Some agency of the county already in existence;
  2. A public works department to be created; or
  3. A board established as provided in § 5-16-103.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1602.

5-16-103. Board of public utilities. [For contingent amendment, see the Compiler’s Notes.]

    1. In the event the resolution provides for the exercise of the powers provided for in this chapter by a board, upon the approval of the resolution, the county mayor shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body, three (3), five (5) or seven (7) persons to comprise what shall be known as “the county board of public utilities.”
    2. The county mayor shall have the option of appointing a seven-person board only in any county having a population of not less than sixty-seven thousand three hundred (67,300) nor more than sixty-seven thousand four hundred (67,400), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
    1. In the event the board has three (3) members, the initial appointees shall serve for one (1), two (2) and three (3) years respectively, from July 1 next succeeding the date of appointment.
      1. In the event five (5) members are desired as provided in subsection (a), the county mayor shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body, such additional members to initial terms of two (2) and three (3) years respectively from July 1 next succeeding the date of appointment.
      2. The terms of no more than two (2) members of the county board of public utilities shall expire at the same time.
      1. In the event seven (7) members are desired as provided in subsection (a), the county mayor shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body, the necessary additional members to initial terms of not more than three (3) years, beginning July 1 next succeeding the date of appointment.
      2. The initial terms of the additional members shall be staggered in such a manner that the terms of no more than three (3) members of the county board of public utilities shall expire at the same time.
  1. Successors to such appointees shall each be appointed for a term of three (3) years by the county mayor, subject to confirmation as provided in subsections (a) and (b).
  2. The county mayor shall in like manner fill any vacancies that may occur for the unexpired terms of the vacancies.
  3. Each member shall give such bond as may be required by resolution of the county legislative body.
    1. Except as provided in this subsection (f), such members shall serve without compensation except for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
    2. In any county having a population of not less than sixty-seven thousand three hundred (67,300) nor more than sixty-seven thousand four hundred (67,400), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census, and in any county having a population of not less than one hundred forty thousand (140,000) nor more than one hundred forty-five thousand (145,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the county legislative body may provide for compensation of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for a monthly meeting for such members upon approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body to which this subdivision (f)(2) may apply. The approval or nonapproval of this subdivision (f)(2) shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of such county legislative body and certified by such presiding officer to the secretary of state. If the county legislative body provides compensation for such members, the members shall also adopt a resolution that ratifies the compensation before any such compensation may be paid.
      1. In counties having a population of not less than twenty-four thousand five hundred (24,500) nor more than twenty-four thousand five hundred sixty (24,560), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the county legislative body may provide for compensation of such members upon approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body to which this subdivision (f)(3) may apply.
      2. The approval or nonapproval of this subdivision (f)(3) shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of such county legislative body and certified by such presiding officer to the secretary of state.
    3. Each member of any board created pursuant to the Interlocal Cooperation Act, compiled in title 12, chapter 9, for the purpose of providing service to two (2) or more counties is, due to the increased responsibilities and duties arising as a result of such multi-county service area, entitled to compensation in an amount not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) per month, the exact amount of such compensation to be determined by resolution of such board.
      1. In counties having a population of not less than twenty-eight thousand one hundred (28,100) nor more than twenty-eight thousand four hundred (28,400), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the county legislative body may provide for compensation of such members upon approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body of any county to which this subdivision (f)(5) may apply.
      2. The approval or nonapproval of this subdivision (f)(5) shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of such county legislative body and certified by the presiding officer to the secretary of state.
      1. In counties having a population of not less than twenty-six thousand seven hundred (26,700) nor more than twenty-six thousand eight hundred (26,800), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the county legislative body may provide for compensation of board members upon approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body to which this subdivision (f)(6)(A) may apply.
      2. The approval or nonapproval of subdivision (f)(6)(A) shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of such county legislative body and certified by such presiding officer to the secretary of state.

        [For contingent amendment, see the Compiler’s Notes.]

      1. In counties having a population of not less than fifty-one thousand nine hundred (51,900) nor more than fifty-two thousand (52,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the county legislative body may provide for compensation of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) per month for the board members; provided, that attendance at board meetings shall be required in order to receive the compensation, upon approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the county legislative body to which this subdivision (f)(7)(A) may apply.
      2. The approval or nonapproval of subdivision (f)(7)(A) shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of the county legislative body and certified by the presiding officer to the secretary of state.
  4. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.
  5. The board shall elect its own chair, and shall be authorized to employ such clerical help as may be necessary.
  6. The board shall hold public meetings at least once each month at such regular time and place as the board may determine, and special meetings upon the call of the chair.
  7. The board shall establish its own rules of procedure.
  8. Any member of the board may be removed from office for cause upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the county legislative body, but only after preferment of formal charges by a resolution of a majority of the county legislative body following a public hearing before it.
  9. Before the board shall adopt any proposed budget or salary plan for its employees, it shall submit same to the county legislative body for approval or rejection.
  10. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, in any county having a population of not less than sixty-seven thousand three hundred (67,300) nor more than sixty-seven thousand four hundred (67,400), according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the county mayor may appoint members of the county legislative body to serve upon the board. Such members shall be subject to confirmation as provided in subsections (a) and (b).
  11. Notwithstanding subsections (a)-(d), a county having a population greater than nine hundred thousand (900,000), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census, that creates a county board of public utilities on or after April 18, 2018 may call, in the resolution creating the board, for the election of the members of the board at the regular August election. The resolution shall:
    1. Specify the number of members of the board of public utilities;
    2. Specify the length of the terms of the members;
    3. Provide for the staggering of terms;
    4. Provide for the removal of members;
    5. Provide for the filling of vacancies on the board; and
    6. Specify the compensation for the members, if any.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 3; 1979, ch. 17, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1603; Acts 1988, ch. 916, § 1; 1989, ch. 396, §§ 1-4; 1990, ch. 879, § 1; 1991, ch. 35, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 134, § 1; 1994, ch. 583, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2006, ch. 515, § 1; Private Acts 2007, ch. 51, § 1; 2018, ch. 738, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1990, ch. 879, § 2 provided that, for any of the counties authorized by (f)(3), any compensation that had been provided for board members under the law as it existed before May 29, 1989, was thereby validated and affirmed.

Acts 1991, ch. 35, § 3 authorized, validated and affirmed any compensation, not exceeding the maximum amount authorized by (f)(4), received prior to March 19, 1991, by any member of a board specified in (f)(4).

Acts 1994, ch. 583, § 2, provided that for any of the counties authorized by subdivision (f)(5), any compensation that has been provided for board members under the law as it existed before March 4, 1994, is hereby validated and affirmed.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Private acts 2007, ch. 51, § 2 provided that the act, which added (f)(7) to this section, shall have no effect unless it is approved by a two-thirds vote of the legislative body of Roane County. Its approval or nonapproval shall be proclaimed by the presiding officer of the legislative body and certified to the secretary of state.

For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment added (n).

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 738, § 3. April 18, 2018.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. Respective powers of county and board of public utilities as to operation of facilities, OAG 95-091, 1995 Tenn. AG LEXIS 102 (8/29/95).

County election commissioner serving on county board of public utilities.  OAG 13-77, 2013 Tenn. AG LEXIS 78 (10/17/13).

5-16-104. Superintendent — Appointment — Compensation — Powers exercised on behalf of county.

  1. The general supervision and control of the acquisition, improvement, operation and maintenance of the urban type public facilities as provided in this chapter shall be in charge of the board or other agency as provided in this chapter.
  2. If the powers of this chapter are exercised by an agency other than the board as provided in this chapter, such agency shall have at its head a person to be known as a superintendent, to be appointed by the county mayor, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body or other governing body, and if such powers are exercised by a board, such board shall appoint a superintendent.
    1. The superintendent in any case shall be a person who shall be qualified by training and experience for supervision over the maintenance and operation of the facilities as provided in this chapter.
    2. Such person need not be a resident of the county or of the state at the time of such person's selection.
    1. In the event that the powers as provided in this chapter are exercised by an agency other than the board as provided in this chapter, the salary of the superintendent shall be fixed by the county legislative body or other governing body.
    2. If such powers are exercised by the board as provided in this chapter, the salary shall be fixed by the board, subject to approval of the county legislative body or other governing body.
    3. In either case, the superintendent shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority and shall be subject to removal by that authority at any time.
  3. Within the limits of the funds available therefor, all powers to acquire, improve, operate and maintain the facilities as provided in this chapter, and all powers necessary or convenient thereto, conferred by this chapter shall be exercised on behalf of the county by the board, or other agency, and the superintendent respectively.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1604; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-16-105. Superintendent — Powers and duties.

  1. The superintendent shall have charge of all actual construction, the immediate management and operation of all the facilities as provided in this chapter and the enforcement of all rules, regulations, programs, plans and decisions of the governing authority, which shall be either the county legislative body or other governing body, or the board as provided in this chapter.
  2. The superintendent shall hire all employees and fix their duties, excepting that the appointment of all technical consultants, advisers and legal assistants shall be subject to the approval of the governing authority.
  3. The superintendent, with the approval of the governing authority, may fix compensation of all employees.
    1. The superintendent may, with the approval of the governing authority, acquire and dispose of all property, real and personal, necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter. Title to such property shall in all cases be taken in the name of the county.
    2. The superintendent, subject to the approval of the governing authority, shall let all contracts.
    3. The superintendent may, however, make purchases of personalty up to a cost of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) without the approval of the governing authority, but subject to such regulations as the governing authority may prescribe.
    4. Any contract for construction exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) shall be advertised by the superintendent for bids.
    5. If the powers conferred by this chapter are exercised by an agency other than the board as provided in this chapter, such bids shall be subject to the approval of the county mayor, and if they are exercised through the board, they shall be subject to approval of the board.
    6. If the county has a central purchasing authority, purchases for the purposes herein contemplated must, at the discretion of the governing body of the county, be made through:
      1. The central purchasing authority; or
      2. The county board of public utilities, in accordance with purchasing policies approved by the governing body of the county.
  4. The superintendent shall make and keep full and proper books and records, subject to the supervision and direction of the governing authority.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 5; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1605; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2011, ch. 193, § 1; 2018, ch. 556, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment rewrote (d)(6), which read: “Where the county has a central purchasing authority, purchases made for the purpose herein contemplated shall be through such authority.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 556, § 2. March 14, 2018.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-16-106. Bonds.

  1. The county legislative body is hereby authorized to issue bonds of the county for the purpose of financing the cost of establishment, construction, installation or acquisition of any urban type public facility.
  2. Bonds so issued may be either general obligation bonds of the county secured by the full faith and credit and taxing power of the county, or revenue bonds secured by the revenues derived from the operation of the urban type public facility financed thereby, or by a combination of such revenues and the unpledged revenues derived by the county from any other urban type public facilities owned and operated by the county.
    1. Any bonds issued by the county for the purpose of financing urban type public facilities shall be issued in the manner and form prescribed by the applicable provisions of title 9, chapter 21.
    2. In the issuance of bonds, an urban type public facility so financed shall be deemed to be a “public works project,” as defined in title 9, chapter 21, and all power and authority conferred upon the county by the terms and provisions of title 9, chapter 21 with respect to the construction, operation, maintenance, financing and the fixing and collection of fees, rates, rents and other charges shall be available to and vested in the county with respect to the establishment, construction, installation, acquisition, operation, maintenance and financing of the urban type public facilities authorized pursuant to this chapter.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 6; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1606; Acts 1988, ch. 750, §§ 4, 5.

5-16-107. Intergovernmental cooperation.

  1. In connection with the operation of any urban type public facility as provided in this chapter, the board or other administrative agency, with the approval of the county legislative body or other governing body, is hereby authorized to enter into contracts with other governmental units or agencies, federal, state, or local, including municipalities, towns, utility districts and improvement districts within the county, for the furnishing of services and facilities within the purview of this chapter, and to enter into cooperative arrangements and agreements for providing such services and facilities, upon terms deemed advantageous by the board or other administrative agency.
  2. With the approval of the county legislative body or other governing body, the board or other administrative agency is authorized to enter into contracts with any of such governmental units or entities to provide or share in the provision of any urban type facility and for the joint operation thereof, and to make or pay charges in connection therewith by written agreement with such unit or entity.
  3. All governmental units subject to the jurisdiction of the state are hereby authorized to enter into contracts with the board or other administrative agency for providing any urban type public facility within the purview of this chapter, and to otherwise cooperate in furnishing such facilities, upon any terms deemed to be mutually advantageous.
  4. In any cooperative undertaking by the board or other administrative agency with any other governmental unit or entity as described in this section for furnishing any of the facilities contemplated in this chapter, the county's share of the costs may be financed in the same manner as is provided for in § 5-16-106.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 7; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1607.

Cross-References. Interlocal cooperation with municipalities or contiguous counties, §§ 5-1-113, 5-1-114.

5-16-108. Sewerage facilities — Mandatory connection and use.

The board or other administrative agency is hereby authorized to require any person, firm or corporation owning or occupying property within an area of land in which sewerage facilities are maintained by the board or administrative agency, to connect with and use such facilities.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 8; T.C.A., § 5-1608.

5-16-109. Service charges — Rules and regulations.

  1. The board or administrative agency shall determine and fix charges to be made for furnishing any and all of the facilities as provided in this chapter, upon a basis calculated to ensure the fiscal solvency of the operation at all times.
  2. The board or administrative agency is further authorized and directed to make and publish reasonable rules and regulations covering the use by any individual, firm or corporation of any facility furnished to users.
  3. A board or administrative agency that is increasing the charges for fire protection services by more than ten percent (10%) shall obtain approval for such increase from the county legislative body prior to the increase taking effect. This subsection (c) applies in any county having a population greater than nine hundred thousand (900,000), according to the 2010 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 9; T.C.A., § 5-1609; Acts 2018, ch. 738, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment added (c).

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 738, § 3. April 18, 2018.

5-16-110. Municipal annexation or incorporation — Effect on facilities.

    1. Upon annexation by any municipality, or by including within the corporate territorial limits of any incorporating municipality, of an area including any of the facilities as herein authorized and provided, the municipality and the county legislative body or other governing body shall attempt to reach a written agreement for the allocation and conveyance to the municipality of any or all functions, rights, duties, property, assets or liabilities, in conjunction with such facilities, that justice and reason may require in the circumstances.
    2. The annexing or incorporating municipality, for and to the extent that it may choose, shall have the exclusive right to provide such facilities within the annexed or incorporated area, and shall manifest such choice by proper resolution or ordinance at the first meeting of its governing body after the annexation or incorporation.
    3. Subject to subdivision (a)(2), any such matters upon which the respective parties are not in written agreement within sixty (60) days after the operative date of such annexation shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the state laws of arbitration effective at the time of submission to the arbitrators, and § 29-5-101(2) shall not apply to any arbitration arising hereunder.
    4. The award so rendered shall be transmitted to the chancery court, and thereupon shall be subject to review in accordance with §§ 29-5-113 — 29-5-115 and 29-5-118.
    5. Subdivisions (a)(1) and (2) shall not apply to any city that is being incorporated if that city does not plan to furnish service that would compete with service the county is now furnishing.
    1. If there are outstanding bonds or other obligations in conjunction with the public facilities as herein provided, the agreement or arbitration award shall also provide that the municipality will operate such facilities in the annexed or incorporated territory and account for the revenues therefrom in such manner as not to impair the obligations of contract with reference to such bonds or other obligations.
    2. The rights vested in the holders of all such outstanding bonds or other obligations shall be fully preserved and in no wise impaired by any agreement or arbitration award.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 10; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1610; Acts 1980, ch. 489, §§ 1-3, 5.

5-16-111. Service near city or town — Restrictions.

A county may not extend any public facilities, as provided for in this chapter, within five (5) miles of any part of the boundary of an incorporated city or town unless such incorporated city or town has failed to take appropriate action to provide a specified public facility or facilities in a specified area or areas for a period of ninety (90) days after having been petitioned to do so by resolution of the county legislative body or other governing body. The resolution shall contain a plan of service, and shall be accompanied by a preliminary engineering report and a financial feasibility report, and shall set out the type, standard and schedule of installation of public facilities and the specified area or areas proposed to be served by the county. The resolution, plan of service and reports shall have been previously submitted to the local planning commission for review as provided for in § 5-16-112.

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 11; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1611.

5-16-112. Plan of services.

    1. No county shall adopt the resolution provided for in § 5-16-102 until there is presented to the regional planning commission serving such county a plan of services for a specified area or areas, for study and a written report, to be rendered within ninety (90) days after such submission, unless by resolution of the county legislative body or other governing body a longer period is allowed.
    2. Such plan of services shall set forth, at a minimum, the identification and proposed timing of the services to be rendered.
  1. No county shall construct or acquire facilities under this chapter unless plans, including necessary engineering and financing plans, have been similarly presented to the planning commission for study and report.
  2. In the event there is no such regional planning commission, then the referral shall be to the local planning commission of the largest municipality within the county having such a commission, and if no municipality within the county has such a planning commission, to the state planning office [abolished].

Acts 1961, ch. 166, § 12; impl. am. Acts 1972, ch. 542, § 15; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1612.

Compiler's Notes. The state planning office, referred to in this section, was abolished by Acts 1995, ch. 501, effective June 12, 1995.

Chapter 17
County-wide Fire Departments

5-17-101. Formation.

  1. The county legislative body or other governing body of any county is authorized to form a new agency to be known as the county-wide fire department for the purpose of providing fire protection services to all of the county.
  2. The powers and duties of the county-wide fire department may be delegated by the county legislative body or other governing body to an existing agency.
    1. The governing body of any county that now has or may hereafter have a metropolitan form of government as defined by § 7-1-101, is authorized to form a new agency to be known as the county-wide fire department, or to extend fire protection services of an existing agency or department to all or any part thereof of the general services district outside the urban services district in the manner and to the extent prescribed in this section.
    2. In counties governed by metropolitan government, the powers and duties of the agency or department affording fire protection outside the urban services district shall be vested in that agency in which the charter of the metropolitan government vests the responsibility for protection against fire of life and property within the urban services district.
  3. A fire department established pursuant to this chapter may be funded through one (1) of the following methods:
    1. As authorized by §§ 5-17-105 — 5-17-107, the county legislative body may establish one (1) or more fire and emergency services tax districts and levy an annual fire and emergency services tax upon the property in each district for the purpose of funding the activities of the fire department within that district;
    2. As an alternative to fire and emergency services tax districts, the county legislative body is hereby authorized to allocate revenue from the general fund of the county to fund fire protection services to be provided to the unincorporated portions of the county. Any such revenues allocated for fire protection services shall be generated by situs-based taxes collected in unincorporated areas of the county or shall originate from other revenue sources that have already been shared with municipalities;
    3. Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the ability of local governments to provide for fire protection services through an interlocal agreement as authorized by title 12, chapter 9, or any other provision of the Tennessee Code;
    4. Nothing in this subsection (d) shall prohibit nor be construed to prohibit a local government from accepting donations or charitable contributions to fund the activities of the fire department, regardless of the method of funding selected by a local government under this section.
  4. Any county choosing to create a county-wide fire district as authorized by this section, may, with the approval of the local legislative body, mandate that all interlocal agreements and contracts with providers for services permitted under this section contain performance-based criteria designed to ensure timely response and effective services, the exact methodology of which is to be determined by local ordinance.

Acts 1965, ch. 138, § 1; 1968, ch. 611, § 1; 1973, ch. 211, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1701; Acts 1999, ch. 125, § 1; 2007, ch. 145, § 1; 2012, ch. 771, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2012, ch. 771, § 2 provided that any county which, prior to April 19, 2012, has created a fire tax district or imposed a fire tax pursuant to this part is not required, but is authorized, to adopt a resolution to rename the district or the tax to be designated as the fire and emergency services tax district or the fire and emergency services tax; provided, that such district shall hereafter be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax district and the tax shall be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax.

Cross-References. Cities, counties and towns, mutual assistance in fire fighting, title 6, ch. 54, part 6.

Attorney General Opinions. Provisions not applicable to county funding volunteer fire departments, OAG 97-141, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 175 (10/14/97).

Funding volunteer fire service, OAG 07-087, 2007 Tenn. AG LEXIS 87 (6/5/07).

5-17-102. Powers and duties.

  1. With the specific exceptions relating to metropolitan governments provided for in this section, the county-wide fire department is empowered to do all things necessary to provide coordinated fire protection to all areas of the county, including, but not limited to:
    1. Sue and be sued;
    2. Take or acquire real or personal property of every kind, or any interest therein, within the county, by grant, purchase, gift, devise or lease, and hold, manage, occupy, dispose of, convey and encumber the same and create a leasehold interest in the same for the benefit of the county;
    3. Exercise the right of eminent domain, but only with the consent of the county legislative body or other governing body;
    4. Establish, equip, operate and maintain a county-wide fire department and establish and enforce regulations including, but not limited to, those for the administration, operation and maintenance thereof;
    5. Appoint and employ necessary employees and define their qualifications, duties and responsibilities, and provide for payment in reasonable sums for such duties;
    6. Employ counsel;
    7. Enter into and perform all necessary contracts, including, but not limited to:
      1. Contracts for the supply of water where necessary for fire protection;
      2. Contract to have existing fire departments and others provide fire protection services in any area of the county, including, but not limited to:
        1. Contracts with incorporated towns and utility districts to provide such service within or without their corporate limits;
        2. Contracts to provide fire protection services for any city, town, district, or any part thereof within the county;
      3. Contracts to provide and be provided training and maintenance;
      4. Contracts to provide and be provided all special service functions, such as arson investigation, inspection, and emergency ambulance and rescue services;
    8. Provide and maintain all special service functions necessary for the prevention of fires, including the investigation of the cause of fires and the enforcement of regulations to prevent harmful fires and smoke;
    9. Provide and maintain an emergency ambulance, first aid and rescue service;
    10. Make regulations, in order to prevent harmful fires and smoke, that shall have the force of law when approved by the county legislative body or other governing body;
    11. Give aid anywhere in the county in the event of fire, flood or other disaster;
    12. Assist local and volunteer fire departments whenever necessary. Such assistance includes, but is not limited to, financial aid and shall be upon such terms as agreed to by both parties;
    13. Provide training and maintenance services for the benefit of any fire department;
    14. Set up a central communications network connecting all fire and emergency units in the county;
    15. Train, equip, maintain, and provide for the payment of volunteers at the discretion of the county-wide fire department;
    16. Recommend the boundaries of fire and emergency services tax district or districts to the county legislative body or other governing body, in those counties that have chosen to fund fire departments through fire and emergency services tax districts, in order to have the fire and emergency services taxes more nearly reflect the cost of services to be rendered in each area of the county, and recommend the amount to be spent in each such district;
    17. Make reasonable charges for any services rendered that are not included in the fire and emergency services tax of the district; and
    18. With the approval of the county legislative body or other governing body, make written agreements for allocation and conveyance of any or all public functions, rights, duties, property, assets and liabilities of the county-wide fire department to any annexing municipality that justice or reason may require in the circumstances.
  2. In those counties that now have or may hereafter have a metropolitan form of government, the powers described in subdivisions (a)(1)-(3), (5), (6) and (9) shall not be vested in the county-wide fire department, but shall be vested in the metropolitan government, to be exercised in the manner provided by its charter.

Acts 1965, ch. 138, § 2; 1968, ch. 611, §§ 2, 3; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1702; Acts 1999, ch. 125, § 2; 2012, ch. 771, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2012, ch. 771, § 2 provided that any county which, prior to April 19, 2012, has created a fire tax district or imposed a fire tax pursuant to this part is not required, but is authorized, to adopt a resolution to rename the district or the tax to be designated as the fire and emergency services tax district or the fire and emergency services tax; provided, that such district shall hereafter be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax district and the tax shall be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax.

Attorney General Opinions. Contract between county-wide fire department and nonprofit fire service.  OAG 10-119, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 125 (12/28/10).

5-17-103. County fire chief.

  1. The county-wide fire department shall be headed by an official to be known as the county fire chief, in whom shall be vested all the powers of the agency and the right to delegate those powers to such persons as the fire chief may see fit.
  2. While responding to, operating at, or returning from an emergency site, the fire chief, or any member serving in the capacity of fire officer in charge, shall have all authority granted to municipal fire departments by  § 6-21-703.
  3. The county fire chief shall be appointed by the county mayor, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body or other governing body.
  4. In counties governed by a metropolitan government as defined by § 7-1-101, this section shall not be effective, and the management and control of the agency or department shall be vested in the person in whom the charter of the metropolitan government vests the management and control of the agency that has the responsibility for the protection against fire of life and property within the urban services district.
  5. In any county having a population of not less than eight hundred thousand (800,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, the county fire chief shall be appointed by the county mayor, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body. The county mayor and legislative body shall ensure that the views and opinions of all participating governmental entities are given full consideration in the selection of the fire chief, with the exact methodology to be determined by local ordinance.

Acts 1965, ch. 138, § 3; 1968, ch. 611, § 4; 1978, ch. 674, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1703; Acts 1999, ch. 125, § 4; 2003, ch. 90, § 2; 2007, ch. 39, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-17-104. Budget.

  1. The county-wide fire department shall prepare an annual budget of anticipated receipts and expenditures, and it shall be submitted to the county legislative body or other governing body of the county.
  2. In those counties that have established fire and emergency services tax districts, the county-wide fire department shall determine what share of the total annual expense of the county-wide fire department must be allocated to each fire and emergency services tax district.
  3. In those counties having a metropolitan government, the budget for the county-wide fire department shall be prepared, submitted and adopted in the manner provided therefor in the charter of the metropolitan government.

Acts 1965, ch. 138, § 4; 1968, ch. 611, § 5; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1704; Acts 1999, ch. 125, § 3; 2012, ch. 771, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2012, ch. 771, § 2 provided that any county which, prior to April 19, 2012, has created a fire tax district or imposed a fire tax pursuant to this part is not required, but is authorized, to adopt a resolution to rename the district or the tax to be designated as the fire and emergency services tax district or the fire and emergency services tax; provided, that such district shall hereafter be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax district and the tax shall be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax.

5-17-105. Fire and emergency services tax districts.

    1. The boundaries of fire and emergency services tax districts shall be determined by the county legislative body or other governing body, and shall become fixed by resolution of the county legislative body or other governing body thirty (30) days or more after notice of the determination of the boundaries of a district has been given to the property owners of the district.
    2. Such notice shall be given by mailing a description of the boundaries of the district to all of the property owners of record within the district, at their last known address.
  1. The boundaries of any district may be altered at any time by means of the same procedure by which the district was created.
  2. In the case of county-wide fire districts as authorized by § 5-17-101, the fire and emergency services tax district shall comprise the entire county outside of any and all incorporated municipalities within the county, but each and every such incorporated municipality within the county may elect to contract with the county for inclusion in such fire and emergency services tax district as authorized by § 5-17-108.
  3. In those counties having eight (8) or more incorporated municipalities that levy a property tax and four (4) or more special school districts, the fire and emergency services tax district shall comprise the entire county, including each and every incorporated municipality.

Acts 1965, ch. 138, § 5; 1978, ch. 674, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1705; Acts 1996, ch. 836, § 1; 2012, ch. 771, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2012, ch. 771, § 2 provided that any county which, prior to April 19, 2012, has created a fire tax district or imposed a fire tax pursuant to this part is not required, but is authorized, to adopt a resolution to rename the district or the tax to be designated as the fire and emergency services tax district or the fire and emergency services tax; provided, that such district shall hereafter be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax district and the tax shall be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax.

5-17-106. Fire and emergency services tax — Levy.

  1. The county legislative body or other governing body shall levy an annual fire and emergency services tax upon the property owners of each district. The county legislative body of any county having a population of not less than eighty thousand (80,000) nor more than eighty-three thousand (83,000), according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census, that after April 8, 1992, establishes a fire and emergency services tax district, may levy an annual fire and emergency services tax upon the property owners of each district. If a tax is levied, subsection (b) shall apply to such fire and emergency services tax.
  2. The fire and emergency services tax of each fire and emergency services tax district shall be set at a rate sufficient to pay that district's share of the total budget of the county-wide fire department.

Acts 1965, ch. 138, § 6; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1706; Acts 1992, ch. 649, § 1; 2012, ch. 771, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Acts 2012, ch. 771, § 2 provided that any county which, prior to April 19, 2012, has created a fire tax district or imposed a fire tax pursuant to this part is not required, but is authorized, to adopt a resolution to rename the district or the tax to be designated as the fire and emergency services tax district or the fire and emergency services tax; provided, that such district shall hereafter be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax district and the tax shall be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax.

5-17-107. Fire and emergency services tax — Inclusion in property tax.

  1. The fire and emergency services tax shall be assessed in the same manner as the county property tax and collected as an addition thereto.
  2. The fire and emergency services tax shall in all ways be treated as a part of the county property tax.

Acts 1965, ch. 138, § 7; T.C.A., § 5-1707; Acts 2012, ch. 771, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2012, ch. 771, § 2 provided that any county which, prior to April 19, 2012, has created a fire tax district or imposed a fire tax pursuant to this part is not required, but is authorized, to adopt a resolution to rename the district or the tax to be designated as the fire and emergency services tax district or the fire and emergency services tax; provided, that such district shall hereafter be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax district and the tax shall be known and cited as the fire and emergency services tax.

5-17-108. Service supplementary.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit in any way the fire departments of any municipality or utility district providing fire service, but merely authorizes such county fire protection service to contract with municipalities or utility districts in order to coordinate fire service county-wide.

Acts 1965, ch. 138, § 8; T.C.A., § 5-1708.

Chapter 18
County Historian

5-18-101. In general.

The legislative body of each county shall appoint some person of the county as county historian, who shall serve without compensation and whose duties shall include, but not be limited to, collecting and preserving local and state history, and in doing so, to work with, in such manner as may mutually be agreed upon, the state historian, the state library and archives and the Tennessee historical commission.

Acts 1965, ch. 45, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1801.

Cross-References. County officers, § 5-1-104.

State historian, §§ 4-11-101, 10-1-101.

State historical commission, §§ 4-11-1024-11-110.

Chapter 19
Garbage and Rubbish Collection and Disposal Services

5-19-101. Power granted to counties.

The several counties of this state are hereby authorized to provide garbage and rubbish collection services or garbage and rubbish disposal services, or both, to the entire county or to special districts within the county as provided in this chapter.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1901.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1992, ch. 693, § 1 provided that references in this chapter to the commissioner or the state department of health are amended to become references to the commissioner or department of environment and conservation.

Cross-References. Air pollution control, title 68, ch. 201.

Hazardous substances, title 68, ch. 131.

Hazardous waste management, title 68, ch. 212.

Sanitary landfill areas, title 68, ch. 213.

Solid waste disposal, title 68, ch. 211.

Urban type public facilities, title 5, ch. 16.

Attorney General Opinions. Use of general revenue to subsidize garbage collection rates, OAG 97-007, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 3 (1/27/97).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. In General.

T.C.A. § 5-19-101 merely allows a county, if it so desires, to provide garbage collection and disposal services; nothing in the statute authorizes the county to ban private garbage collection and disposal services. Robertson County v. Browning-Ferris Industries of Tennessee, Inc., 799 S.W.2d 662, 1990 Tenn. App. LEXIS 343 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1990).

5-19-102. Chapter definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Garbage and rubbish collection service” means and includes all operations of all manpower and equipment, whether employed or owned by the county or by some other entity, public or private, with which the county may choose to contract, for the gathering, removal and transporting of refuse produced by the area to be served;
  2. “Garbage and rubbish disposal service” means and includes all composting or other processing plants, incinerators, sanitary landfills and all other sites or facilities for the receiving, processing and getting rid of collected refuse, whether publicly or privately owned or operated, or both; and
  3. “Other governing body” means only that body having the taxing authority.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 1; T.C.A., § 5-1902.

5-19-103. Resolution authorizing services.

For the exercise of the powers conferred by this chapter, a county shall authorize same by resolution adopted by a majority of the county legislative body or other governing body. Such resolution shall provide for the exercise of such powers by either:

  1. Some agency or officer of the county already in existence;
  2. A county sanitation department to be created;
  3. A board established as provided in § 5-19-104; or
  4. Contractual arrangements the county may make between itself and any municipality, any utility or other service district, any private organization or any combination of such entities engaged in garbage and rubbish collection services or garbage and rubbish disposal services, or both. In the event all such county services are to be rendered exclusively by such contractual arrangements, the contracts involved shall be negotiated by the county mayor, shall be subject to the approval of the county legislative body or other governing body and may be administered by the county mayor without the appointment of a superintendent, as provided for in § 5-19-105, being required.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 35; T.C.A., § 5-1903; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. Single county solid waste regions that elect not to create solid waste authorities, OAG 96-041, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 43 (3/13/96).

5-19-104. County board of sanitation.

    1. In the event the resolution provides for the exercise of the powers provided for in this chapter by a board, upon the approval of the resolution, the county mayor shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body or other governing body, three (3) persons to constitute what shall be known as “the county board of sanitation,” which appointees shall serve for one (1), two (2), and three (3) years respectively, from July 1 next succeeding the date of appointment.
    2. Successors to such appointees shall each be appointed for a term of three (3) years by the county mayor, subject to confirmation as provided for in subdivision (a)(1).
    3. The county mayor shall in like manner fill any vacancies that may occur for the unexpired terms thereof.
  1. Each member shall give such bond as may be required by resolution of the county legislative body or other governing body.
  2. The salary or per diem payment, if any, for service on the county board of sanitation shall be established by resolution of the county legislative body. Necessary travel expenses incurred in the performance of their duties shall be paid by the county.
  3. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.
  4. The board shall elect its own chair, and shall be authorized to employ such clerical help as may be necessary.
    1. The board shall hold public meetings at least once each month at such regular time and place as the board may determine, and special meetings upon the call of the chair.
    2. The board shall establish its own rules of procedure.
  5. Any member of the board may be removed from office for cause upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the county legislative body or other governing body, but only after preferment of formal charges by a resolution of a majority of such governing body and following a public hearing before it.
  6. Before the board shall adopt any proposed budget or salary plan for its employees, it shall submit same to the county legislative body or other governing body for approval or rejection.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1904; Acts 1998, ch. 730, § 1; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-19-105. Supervision generally — Office of superintendent.

  1. The general supervision and control of the acquisition, improvement, operation and maintenance of all such refuse collection or disposal systems, or both, as provided in this chapter shall be in charge of the county legislative body or other governing body or other agency as provided in this chapter.
    1. If the powers of this chapter, other than those exercised exclusively by contractual arrangements, are exercised by an agency other than the county legislative body or other governing body or by other than the board as provided in this chapter, such agency shall have at its head a person to be known as a superintendent, to be appointed by the county mayor, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body or other governing body, and if such powers are exercised by a board, such board shall appoint a superintendent.
    2. The superintendent, in any case where a superintendent is required, shall be a person who shall be qualified by training and experience for supervision over the maintenance and operation of the facilities and services as provided in this chapter.
    3. Such person need not be a resident of the county or of the state at the time of such person's selection.
    4. In the event that the powers as provided in this chapter are exercised by an agency other than the board as provided in this chapter, the salary of the superintendent shall be fixed by the county legislative body or other governing body.
    5. If such powers are exercised by the board as provided in this chapter, the salary shall be fixed by the board, subject to approval of the county legislative body or other governing body.
    6. In either case, the superintendent shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority and shall be subject to removal by that authority at any time.
  2. Within the limits of the funds available therefor, all powers to acquire, improve, operate and maintain the facilities and services as herein provided, and all powers necessary or convenient thereto, conferred by this chapter shall be exercised on behalf of the county by the county legislative body or other governing body or by the board, or other designated agency, and the superintendent respectively.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1905; Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Duties of superintendent, § 5-19-110.

Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

5-19-106. Intergovernmental cooperation.

  1. In connection with the operation of any refuse collection or disposal equipment or facility as provided in this chapter, the superintendent, or the board in the event the powers conferred by this chapter are exercised through a board, with the approval of the county legislative body or other governing body, or the county legislative body or other governing body is hereby authorized to enter into contracts with other governmental units or agencies, federal, state or local, including municipalities, towns, utility districts and improvement districts within the county or with private contractors, for furnishing services, equipment and facilities within the purview of this chapter, and to enter into cooperative arrangements and agreements for providing such services and facilities, upon terms deemed advantageous by the agency involved.
  2. The county legislative body or other governing body, or other agency involved with the approval of the county legislative body or other governing body, is authorized to enter into contracts with any of the governmental units described in subsection (a) or private entities to provide or share in the provision of any refuse collection or disposal equipment, facility or service and for the joint operation thereof, and to make or pay charges in connection therewith by written agreement with such unit or entity.
  3. All governmental units subject to the jurisdiction of the state are hereby authorized to enter into contracts with the appropriate agency prescribed herein for the providing of any refuse collection or disposal equipment, facility or service within the purview of this chapter, and to otherwise cooperate in furnishing such facilities, equipment or services upon any terms deemed to be mutually advantageous.
  4. In any cooperative undertaking with any other governmental unit or entity, or in a contract with any private contractor, as described in this section for furnishing any of the facilities, equipment or services contemplated in this chapter, the county's share of the costs may be financed in the same manner as is provided for in § 5-19-111 to discharge direct county costs for such facilities, equipment or services.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 5; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1906.

Cross-References. Intergovernmental cooperation, urban type facilities, § 5-16-107.

Interlocal cooperation with municipalities or contiguous counties, §§ 5-1-113, 5-1-114.

5-19-107. Powers of counties.

The several counties are empowered to do all things necessary to provide such county-wide or special district garbage and rubbish collection service or garbage and rubbish disposal service, or both, including, but not limited to:

  1. Sue and be sued;
  2. Take or acquire real or personal property of every kind, or any interest therein within the county, by grant, purchase, gift, devise or lease, and hold, manage, occupy, dispose of, convey, and encumber the same and create a leasehold interest in the same for the benefit of the county;
  3. Exercise the right of eminent domain;
  4. Establish, equip, operate and maintain the services, or any of them, authorized by this chapter and establish and enforce regulations including, but not limited to, those for the administration, operation and maintenance thereof;
  5. Appoint and employ necessary employees and define their qualifications, duties and responsibilities, and provide for payment in reasonable sums for such duties;
  6. Employ counsel;
  7. Enter into and perform all necessary contracts, including, but not limited to, contracts with incorporated towns and cities, or with utility districts, within or without the county, or with private contractors, to provide such services within or without their corporate limits, contracts to provide or to be provided training and maintenance, contracts with one (1) or more other counties or with one (1) or more municipalities in other counties for joint provision of such services, contracts for purchasing or leasing necessary equipment, contracts for the performance of any or all operations involved in the provision of such services either on a district, or on a county-wide basis, or on an intergovernmental basis;
  8. Provide and maintain all special service functions necessary to the implementation of this chapter, such as, but not limited to, the services of the county sanitarian in the inspection of all refuse processing or disposing operations within the county;
  9. Make regulations that shall have the force of law governing all collection and disposal operations and practices entered into under the terms of this chapter;
  10. Set the boundaries of special refuse disposal districts established under the terms of this chapter;
  11. Establish schedules of, and collect reasonable charges for, any services rendered in any district or area that are not covered by the special tax levy authorized in § 5-19-108 or § 5-19-109 for garbage and rubbish collection or disposal, or both, in that district or area; and
  12. Make written agreements for the allocation and conveyance to any annexing municipality of any or all public functions, rights, duties, property, assets and liabilities of a county-wide or district system within or without the area annexed, or to be annexed, that justice and reason may require in the circumstances.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 6; T.C.A., § 5-1907.

Compiler's Notes. There is no specific statutory provision for “the county sanitarian” referred to in this section although there is authority to “appoint and employ necessary employees” in subdivision (5).

Attorney General Opinions. County control over collection and disposal programs, OAG 96-063, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 62 (4/8/96).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Payment for Unused Services.

County may impose a monthly fee on all its rural residents for solid waste disposal services regardless of whether the services are actually used. Horton v. Carroll County, 968 S.W.2d 841, 1997 Tenn. App. LEXIS 628 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1997), rehearing denied, — S.W.2d —, 1997 Tenn. App. LEXIS 711 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 22, 1997) .

A county may legally impose monthly fees on all its rural residents for solid waste disposal services, regardless of whether the services are actually utilized. City of Bolivar v. Goodrum, 49 S.W.3d 290, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 669 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

5-19-108. Tax levy.

Such garbage and rubbish collection and disposal services may be financed in whole or in part by a levy of a tax on all property in the county only if all persons in the county are to be equally served, but such a county-wide levy shall be unlawful if any city, town or special district in any city or town, that, through its own forces or by contract, provides such services within its boundaries, or if any other part of the county is to be excluded from the service area.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 7; T.C.A., § 5-1908.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Payment for Unused Services.

A county may legally impose monthly fees on all its rural residents for solid waste disposal services, regardless of whether the services are actually utilized. City of Bolivar v. Goodrum, 49 S.W.3d 290, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 669 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

5-19-109. Service districts.

  1. If less than all persons in the county are to be served, the county, if it chooses to enter into garbage and rubbish collection and disposal activities, must establish a district or districts within which the service is to be provided.
  2. Such county must pay the full costs of the services to be provided either:
    1. From the proceeds of a tax levied only on property within the district or districts;
    2. From the proceeds of a schedule of service charges levied upon the recipients of the services in the district or districts; or
    3. From a combination of both such a tax levy and service charge levy.
  3. The county legislative body or other governing body may, in its discretion, allocate from among the general funds otherwise available to it an amount sufficient to compensate the garbage and rubbish disposal operation for the use of disposal facilities by persons other than those who reside in the districts served, and may reduce the cost to be recovered from such district or districts by a like amount.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 8; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1909.

Attorney General Opinions. County control over collection and disposal programs, OAG 96-063, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 62 (4/8/96).

Inability to use wheel tax revenues to fund waste disposal, OAG 99-137, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 171 (7/22/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Payment for Unused Services.

County may impose a monthly fee on all its rural residents for solid waste disposal services regardless of whether the services are actually used. Horton v. Carroll County, 968 S.W.2d 841, 1997 Tenn. App. LEXIS 628 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1997), rehearing denied, — S.W.2d —, 1997 Tenn. App. LEXIS 711 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 22, 1997) .

Fees may be legally imposed on residents regardless of whether the services are actually utilized. City of Bolivar v. Goodrum, 49 S.W.3d 290, 2000 Tenn. App. LEXIS 669 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).

2. Tipping Fees.

Tipping fees for solid waste disposal are authorized by T.C.A. § 5-19-109 and T.C.A. § 68-211-835; therefore, appellate court only need address the issue of whether the tipping fees were an unlawful, excessive tax, or a permissible statutory fee, and the appellate court concluded that the tipping fees were fees, not a tax. Gray's Disposal Co. v. Metro. Gov't of Nashville, 122 S.W.3d 148, 2002 Tenn. App. LEXIS 927 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2002), rehearing denied, Gray's Disposal Co. v. Metro. Gov't of Nashville County, — S.W.3d —, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 71 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 28, 2003), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2003 Tenn. LEXIS 656 (Tenn. 2003).

5-19-110. Superintendent — Powers and duties.

  1. The superintendent, in all cases in which that office is created, has charge of all actual construction and of the immediate management and operation of all the services, equipment and facilities provided for in this chapter which are owned and operated by the county and of the enforcement of all rules, regulations, programs, plans and decisions of the board or governing body and of the administration of all contracts between the county and other entities covering refuse collection and disposal services.
    1. Within the limits of a budget and of a salary plan to be approved by the county governing body, the superintendent shall hire all employees and fix their duties, except that the engagement of technical consultants, advisers and legal assistants shall be subject to the approval of the governing body.
    2. The superintendent, with the approval of the governing body, may fix the compensation of all employees.
    1. The superintendent, with the approval of the governing body, may acquire and dispose of all property, real and personal, necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
    2. Title to such property shall in all cases be taken in the name of the county.
    1. The superintendent, subject to the approval of the governing body, shall let all contracts.
    2. The superintendent may, however, make purchases of personalty up to a cost of five hundred dollars ($500), within budgetary limits, without the approval of the governing body, subject, however, to such rules governing such purchases as the governing body may prescribe.
    3. Any contract for construction exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000) shall be advertised by the superintendent for bids.
    4. Where the county has a central purchasing authority, purchases made for the purposes herein contemplated shall be processed through such authority.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 9; T.C.A., § 5-1910.

Cross-References. Superintendent, creation of office, appointment, compensation, § 5-19-105.

5-19-111. Bonds.

  1. The county legislative body, or other governing body, of the county is hereby authorized to issue bonds of the county for the purpose of financing the cost of the establishment, construction, installation or acquisition of any refuse collection or disposal equipment or facility.
  2. Bonds so issued may be either general obligation bonds of the county secured by the full faith and credit and taxing power of the county, or by taxes levied on property in a specified district, or revenue bonds secured by the revenues derived from the operation of the refuse collection or disposal equipment or facility financed thereby, or by a combination of such revenues and the unpledged revenues derived by the county from any other refuse collection or disposal equipment or facility owned and operated by the county, or combination revenue-general obligation deficiency bonds secured primarily by revenues and secondarily by the taxing power of the county.
    1. Any bonds issued by the county for the purpose of financing refuse collection or disposal equipment or facilities shall be issued in the manner and form prescribed by the applicable provisions of title 9, chapter 21.
    2. In the issuance of bonds, any refuse collection or disposal equipment or facility so financed shall be deemed to be a “public works project,” as defined in title 9, chapter 21, and all power and authority conferred upon the county by the terms and provisions of title 9, chapter 21, with respect to the construction, operation, maintenance, financing and the fixing and collection of fees, rates, rents and other charges shall be available to and vested in the county with respect to the establishment, construction, installation, acquisition, operation, maintenance and financing of the refuse collection or disposal equipment or facility authorized pursuant to this chapter.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 10; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 16, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1911; Acts 1988, ch. 750, §§ 6, 7.

5-19-112. Plan of services.

  1. No county shall adopt the resolution provided for in § 5-19-103 until there shall have been presented to the regional planning commission serving such county a plan of services for a specified area or areas for study and a written report to be rendered within ninety (90) days after such submission unless, by resolution of the county legislative body or other governing body, a longer period is allowed.
  2. Such plan of services shall set forth, at a minimum, the identification and proposed timing of the services to be rendered.
  3. No county shall construct or acquire facilities under this chapter unless plans, including necessary engineering and financing plans, shall have been similarly presented to the planning commission for study and report.
  4. In the event there is no such regional planning commission, then the referral shall be to the local planning commission of the largest municipality within the county having such a commission, and, if no municipality within the county has such a planning commission, to the state planning office [abolished].

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 11; impl. am. Acts 1972, ch. 542, § 15; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-1912.

Compiler's Notes. The state planning office, referred to in this section, was abolished by Acts 1995, ch. 501, effective June 12, 1995.

5-19-113. Inspection of facilities.

  1. The county sanitarian of each county shall, not less frequently than quarterly, inspect any and all refuse processing or refuse disposing facilities, or both, public or private, within the county for any practices or procedures followed in the county that do, or may, adversely affect the public health, the public safety, or the quality of the environment, and shall report the findings of the results of such inspections both to the board or governing body having jurisdiction over the area involved and to the superintendent.
  2. The superintendent, within budgetary, policy and feasibility limits as such are defined by the board or governing body, will make every effort to correct any shortcomings in county-owned operations reported upon by the county sanitarian.
  3. Such board or governing body may, in its discretion, institute corrective action on its own with reference to its own operations or initiate appropriate action designed to abate such practice or practices under terms of existing laws dealing with the abatement of nuisances or the elimination of hazards to the public health with reference to the refuse disposal operations of others within its jurisdiction.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 12; T.C.A., § 5-1913.

Compiler's Notes. There is no specific statutory provision for “the county sanitarian” referred to in this section although there is authority to “appoint and employ necessary employees” in § 5-19-107(5).

5-19-114. Investigations of facilities.

  1. Either on the commissioner's own initiative or at the request of the governing body of any political subdivision of the state, the commissioner of environment and conservation may investigate refuse disposal operations within any county, city or town in the state, may make written or other recommendations for the improvement thereof, and may offer such technical advice and assistance to the responsible local officials for the betterment of refuse disposal practices within their jurisdictions as limitations of staff and budget will allow.
  2. The commissioner may also draw up, publish, distribute information and recommend standards in refuse disposal for the consideration of responsible local officials.
  3. The commissioner may delegate the responsibilities described in subsections (a) and (b) to appropriate personnel of the department of environment and conservation or to the director of a city, county or district health department to the extent deemed necessary.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 13; T.C.A., § 5-1914; Acts 1992, ch. 693, § 1.

5-19-115. Governmental entities' rights preserved.

Any of the provisions of this chapter notwithstanding, any municipality, utility or other special district shall retain existing rights to provide such garbage and rubbish collection services or disposal services, or both, to residents and taxpayers within its jurisdiction, including any territory annexed to such jurisdiction, and the existing rights of such instrumentalities to acquire disposal sites outside the limits of their jurisdictions shall not be impaired in any wise whatsoever.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 14; T.C.A., § 5-1915.

5-19-116. Householders' rights preserved.

This chapter shall not prohibit an individual householder from disposing of solid waste from such householder's own household upon such householder's own land; provided, that such disposal does not create a public nuisance or a hazard to the public health.

Acts 1969, ch. 201, § 15; T.C.A., § 5-1916.

Attorney General Opinions. Authorizing county legislative bodies to impose mandatory fee for solid waste disposal services provided by county, OAG 91-30, 1991 Tenn. AG LEXIS 33 (4/8/91).

Chapter 20
Adoption of Prepared Building, Plumbing and Gas Codes by Reference

5-20-101. Chapter definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Code” means any published compilation of rules and regulations that has been prepared by technical trade associations or model code organizations regulating building construction, plumbing and gas installation, fire prevention, any portion of such rules, or any amendment of such rules; and
  2. “Governing body” means the county legislative body, board of commissioners, county council, or other body in which the general legislative powers of a county are vested.

Acts 1975, ch. 328, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 7, 36; T.C.A., § 5-2001; Acts 2013, ch. 145, § 1.

5-20-102. Adoption by reference authorized.

  1. The governing body of any county may adopt or repeal a resolution that incorporates by reference the provisions of any code properly identified as to date and source, without setting forth the provisions of such code in full, except that this enabling authority shall not apply to any subject area that the state, now or hereafter, elects to regulate through its own adopted code.
    1. At least one (1) copy of the code that is incorporated by reference shall be filed in the office of the county clerk and kept there for public use, inspection, and examination.
    2. This filing requirement shall not be deemed complied with unless the required copy of the code is filed with the clerk for a period of ninety (90) days before the adoption of the resolution that incorporated the code by reference.
    3. Federal rules and regulations, including any changes in the regulations when properly identified as to the date and source, may be incorporated by reference without setting forth the provisions of the regulations in full.
  2. No resolution incorporating a code by reference shall be effective until published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county.

Acts 1975, ch. 328, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A., § 5-2002; Acts 1993, ch. 163, § 1; 2011, ch. 102, § 1.

Cross-References. Building regulations, title 68, ch. 120.

5-20-103. Administration of code.

  1. The adopting resolution may also incorporate by reference the administrative provisions of any code, or may include in the adopting resolution any suggested administrative provisions found in a code.
  2. If a code does not contain administrative provisions, the administrative provisions of another code may be adopted and included in such resolution.
  3. The powers and duties of enforcing the provisions of any code may be conferred upon such officials within the existing framework of the county government as the governing body may determine, such as, but not limited to, officials administering zoning and planning regulations of the county.

Acts 1975, ch. 328, § 3; T.C.A., § 5-2003.

5-20-104. Enforcement of code.

The county attorney or any official vested with the powers of enforcing any code may, in addition to any other remedies provided by law, institute an injunction to prevent the violation of such code.

Acts 1975, ch. 328, § 4; T.C.A., § 5-2004.

5-20-105. Code violations — Penalties.

  1. The authority of this chapter shall not extend to the incorporation by reference of any penalty clause contained in a code.
    1. Any person, firm or corporation or agent who violates any code or fails to comply therewith or with any of the provisions thereof, or violates a detailed statement or plans submitted and approved thereunder, commits a Class C misdemeanor.
    2. Each such person, firm or corporation or agent commits a separate offense for each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation of any of the provisions of a code is committed or continued.

Acts 1975, ch. 328, § 5; T.C.A., § 5-2005; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

5-20-106. Applicability.

This chapter shall apply only to the unincorporated area of a county adopting such a code resolution and to those incorporated cities and towns within the county that do not elect, now or hereafter, to adopt their own codes regulating the same subject areas.

Acts 1975, ch. 328, § 6; T.C.A., § 5-2006.

Chapter 21
County Financial Management System of 1981

5-21-101. Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “County Financial Management System of 1981.”

Acts 1981, ch. 325, § 1.

Cross-References. County Budgeting Law of 1957, title 5, ch. 12.

County Fiscal Procedure Law of 1957, title 5, ch. 13.

Attorney General Opinions. Authority of county executive [now county mayor] over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

Conflicts involving purchases in school system that has adopted the Local Option Financial Management System Act, OAG 04-107, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 112 (7/09/04).

Proposed Stokes Creek Project, OAG 04-108, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 113 (7/09/04).

In a county operating under the County Financial Management System of 1981, a county board of education does not have the authority to enter into contracts for professional services, such as architectural services, OAG 06-139, 2006 Tenn. AG LEXIS 155 (9/11/06).

A county commission violates T.C.A. § 5-21-111(e)(1) if it votes to reduce the debt service portion of the budget proposed by its budget committee after the budget committee holds a public hearing on its budget proposal and submits that proposal to the commission.  OAG 14-09, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 9  (1/15/14)

County financial management system of 1981 — debt service requirements. OAG 15-02, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 2 (1/7/15).

5-21-102. Chapter definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Committee” means the county financial management committee;
  2. “Department” means the finance department; and
  3. “Director” means the director of the finance department.

Acts 1981, ch. 325, § 2.

5-21-103. Finance department — General provisions — County hospitals and nursing homes — Exclusion from coverage of chapter.

    1. There is hereby created a finance department to administer the finances of the county for all funds of the various departments, agencies and boards that are handled by the county trustee.
    2. The accounting, bank accounts, personnel and salary policies, and other policies of the funds and offices of the clerks of courts, county clerk, register of deeds, sheriff and trustee, that were not subject to the budgeting authority of the county legislative body prior to application of this part, are not subject to this part. This part shall not be construed as authority over the fee and commission accounts of other accounts that are not handled by the trustee for offices other than the trustee nor for the trustee's fee and commission account. This part shall not be construed as authority over personnel policies or procedures or salaries of the various county offices or departments, except with respect to requiring necessary recordkeeping and reporting needed for performing the payroll functions as prescribed by the finance committee.
  1. The finance department shall be responsible for purchasing, accounting, budgeting, payroll, cash management and other such financial matters of the county as provided in this chapter.
  2. All employees performing the functions of purchasing, payroll, accounting and budgeting in the various operating departments shall be transferred to the supervision of the director of finance, and such salaries, benefits and expenses relating to such personnel shall be budgeted under the finance department, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary. No employee may be transferred, however, from the office of the trustee, county clerk, assessor of property, clerks of courts, register of deeds or sheriff.
    1. The department shall establish a system of fiscal management, control, accounting, budgeting, purchasing and cash management as herein provided.
    2. The system shall conform to generally accepted accounting principles and shall be in substantial agreement with the comptroller of the treasury uniform audit manual, the rules established by the commissioner of education, and state law.
    1. Notwithstanding this chapter to the contrary, the county legislative body may exclude, by two thirds (2/3) majority vote, the county hospitals or nursing homes, or both, from this chapter. In the event county hospitals or nursing homes, or both, are excluded, the county legislative body may establish, after allowing the financial management committee to submit recommendations, financial procedures and reporting requirements to include, but not to be limited to, the following:
      1. Monthly financial reports;
      2. Approval of the required annual audit contract with a licensed Tennessee certified public accountant and the reports presented in such audit;
      3. Inspection of records, bank statements and other financial records; and
      4. Approval of the annual budget by the county legislative body prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
    2. If a hospital or nursing home, or both, is excluded from this chapter, the county legislative body may by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote include such hospitals or nursing homes, or both, under this chapter. Upon voting to include such hospital or nursing home, or both, implementation of this chapter shall begin no later than the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Acts 1981, ch. 325, § 3; 1991, ch. 236, § 1; 1993, ch. 515, §§ 1-3; 2018, ch. 495, § 1.

Amendments. The 2018 amendment rewrote (d)(2) which read: “Such system shall conform to generally accepted principles of governmental accounting and shall be in substantial agreement with the recommendations of the national council of governmental accounting, and the rules and regulations established by the comptroller of the treasury, commissioner of education and state law.”

Effective Dates. Acts 2018, ch. 495, § 11. February 22, 2018.

Attorney General Opinions. Application of the financial management system of 1981 to tenured employees, OAG 91-25, 1991 Tenn. AG LEXIS 27 (3/25/91).

County Financial Management System of 1981: Duties of county trustee, OAG 92-73, 1992 Tenn. AG LEXIS 71 (12/29/92).

Authority of county executive [now county mayor] over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

5-21-104. Financial management committee — General provisions.

  1. A county financial management committee is hereby created.
    1. The committee shall consist of the county mayor, supervisor of highways, director of schools, and four (4) members elected by the county legislative body at its regular September session of each year or at any subsequent session.
    2. The four (4) members elected by the county legislative body need not be members of such body.
  2. Such committee shall elect its own chair and shall meet from time to time as it may deem necessary for the discharge of its duties as provided in this section.
  3. The director shall be the ex officio secretary of such committee.
    1. The committee shall establish and approve policies, procedures and regulations in addition to the specific provisions of this chapter, for implementing a sound and efficient financial system for administering the funds of the county.
    2. Such system shall include budgeting, accounting, purchasing, payroll, cash management and such other financial matters necessary to an efficient system.

Acts 1981, ch. 325, § 4; 2003, ch. 90, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for the Tennessee Code Annotated.

Cross-References. Option to redesignate county mayor as county executive by private act, § 5-6-101.

Attorney General Opinions. County Financial Management System of 1981: Duties of county trustee, OAG 92-73, 1992 Tenn. AG LEXIS 71 (12/29/92).

Authority of county executive [now county mayor] over county finance office, OAG 99-032, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 19 (2/18/99).

Tenure of county financial management committee, OAG 03-064, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 80 (5/14/03).

Under T.C.A. § 12-4-101(b), a member of the county financial management committee must disclose his or her indirect interest when voting on contracts that affect his or her spouse's employment contract with the county, especially such matters as the spouse's compensation, but the statute does not require abstention, OAG 05-017, 2005 Tenn. AG LEXIS 17 (2/03/05).

T.C.A. § 5-21-121 would not prohibit a member of the county financial management committee from being interested in the employment contract between his or her spouse and the county, but since the statute does not define the term, “personal beneficial interest,” therefore, a member could have a prohibited conflict of interest in a purchase of supplies, materials, or equipment for the finance department where his or h