Tenn. AG: Cities should pay school districts

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A nonbinding opinion released by Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper says the law requires cities across the state to pay any unremitted liquor taxes to school districts.

The opinion says municipalities can't negotiate a lesser payment or offset costs with local-option sales tax revenue. However, it says cities don't have to pay all at once— they can set up a payment plan.

Hamilton County school officials said they are happy with the opinion. Chattanooga officials said Thursday they were still reviewing it.

The newspaper reports the city owes more than $11 million to the school district after not paying it a portion of the liquor tax for nearly a decade.

At least 15 other cities also owe money to school districts.

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