Dec 13 2007

So says the Tennessee Attorney General:

An opinion by Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. says that making developers pay for new schools would be a development tax and is not allowed under existing law.

"(S)uch a provision would conflict with both the spirit and the express language of the County Powers Relief Act," the opinion states.

That act prohibits Tennessee counties from enacting new infrastructure taxes or fees, other than an adequate facilities tax in which the county can charge developers up to $1 per square foot for new construction. If a county enacts that tax, it has to eliminate all of its other infrastructure taxes.


Rutherford County has tried multiple times to get around the County Powers Relief Act, first by asking the attorney general if the county could increase its existing $1,500 per home development tax, then by asking Hood to send a request to Cooper's office to consider whether developers could be required to pay for new schools.

UPDATE: More from the Tennessean.

UPDATE: TN AG Nov. 21st opinion here.

The whole AFT issue is

The whole AFT issue is nothing short of confusing. This new AG opinion really does a good job of explaining it.

(link...) Click on OPO 161

Why we must look at Rutherford County problems

Back when the Sports Complex was a hot topic in Blount County the issue of building new cities in the middle of nowhere was of concern to us all.

One key point was the sand filtration systems. Blount County, by allowing South Blount to get into the sewer bid'ness pretty much removed the let's build us a new city in the middle of a good corn field stop gap.

We need to keep our eyes on the issues of urban sprawl and funding new schools and use Rutherford County as an example.


Communities need to be aware of how this can affect other infrastructure needs, such as providing adequate schools, Buchanan said.

"Those are the issues that arise from all of the sudden being able to treat wastewater and now put three houses on one acre," he said. "Those are the issues that have really jumped up and bit Rutherford County in the hind end. They are building schools so fast. Even getting electricity out to those places is interesting."

The County Powers Relief Act limits a new AFT to one dollar per square foot on new homes built and that money has to go toward new schools- not roads or bridges.

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