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City votes to pay $81, 856 to schools
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McMinnville officials are moving forward with a measure that will give $81,856 to the Warren County School System and prevent a lawsuit between the city and county. According to an overlooked state statute, one-half of the sales tax revenue collected by the city for liquor by the drink should have been turned over to the Board of Education. The referendum passed in March 2003 and the city has collected $163,712 since.City attorney Tim Pirtle informed members of the Finance Committee on Tuesday night the city owes the money.“The city has collected approximately $81,856 that should have been distributed to the Board of Education from the revenues collected by the city since March of 2003,” said Pirtle.Pirtle says he was approached by both the county attorney and the school attorney and put on a deadline of June 1 to avoid a lawsuit.“If we have not entered into a legally binding agreement by the June 1 deadline, the county and the Board of Education will be compelled to file a petition in court to preserve their rights,” said Pirtle.Members of the Warren County Commission met Monday night and voted unanimously to authorize the county attorney to file suit against the city of McMinnville to recover the funds in the event the city of McMinnville has not paid the amount owed by May 29.Pirtle presented in committee a written agreement to pay the $81,856 and for the city to divide any future revenues collected in regard to liquor-by-the-drink sales tax equally with the Board of Education.“I’m asking that the Finance Committee approve this and send it to the full board for its consideration,” said Pirtle.