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Alexandria Woman Dies in Sunday Morning Wreck

January 10, 2010
Dwayne Page
 Lisa Hallmon

An Alexandria woman died Sunday morning when her car struck a DeKalb County garbage truck on Highway 70 near Sligo bridge. Central dispatch received the call at 6:54 a.m.

Dead is 47 year old Lisa A. Hallmon of 123 Avant Circle, Alexandria.

Trooper Mark Jones of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Hallmon was driving a 1988 Cadillac east on U.S. 70 (going down Sligo hill) when she crossed the center line while negotiating a curve. Hallmon's car sideswiped a 2007 Peterbilt dump truck (county garbage truck), driven by 56 year old Danny E. Green of 1575 Haley Road, Smithville who was traveling west (going up the hill).

According to Trooper Jones, the truck over road or partially ran over Hallmon's car and then veered off the right side of the road and crashed through a guardrail, before coming to a stop. Sources say the truck came dangerously close to plunging off the side of the hill.

County Mayor Mike Foster later told WJLE that Green had gone to the landfill to pick up an empty garbage container and was returning to take the container to the Snow Hill convenience site to trade it for a full container. The truck apparently had no other cargo at the time of the accident.

Hallmon's car went off the right side of the road and into a ditchline

Trooper Jones says Hallmon, who died at the scene, had to be extricated from her vehicle by members of DeKalb County Fire Department's Extrication Team.

Green was reportedly taken by private vehicle to DeKalb Community Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The accident was investigated by Trooper Jones, Trooper David Slatton, and Sergeant Kevin Norris of the THP Critical Incident Response Team. Others on the scene were DeKalb EMS and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated another accident on Sunday. This one occurred off Coconut Ridge Road in the Williamson Lane, Hurricane Point subdivision area. Central dispatch received the call at 3:01 p.m.

Trooper Todd Logan says 58 year old Nancy Zamora and her husband 52 year old John Zamora of 270 Rutherford Lane, Smithville were in a 2005 Dodge Dakota, being driven by Mrs. Zamora going up the road on a steep hill, which was also snow and ice covered. The truck began sliding backward and went off the road over the side of the hill, about ten feet down.

Mr. Zamora apparently escaped injury and got out of the truck on his own but Mrs. Zamora, who was hurt, needed assistance.

Because of the condition of the road, emergency personnel had to use four wheel drive vehicles to get to the scene. Mrs. Zamora was brought out and taken to meet an ambulance where she was transported to DeKalb Community Hospital.

In addition to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, members of the Cookeville Highway Station of the DeKalb County Fire Department, the DeKalb County Rescue Squad, the DeKalb County Fire Department's Extrication and Rescue Team, and the Sheriff's Department were on site along with DeKalb Tire and Service.

Martin Named County Firefighter of the Year

January 10, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Firefighter of the Year Jimmy Martin-
County Fire Department Officer of 2009 Lieutenant Anthony Boyd
County Fire Department Rookie of 2009 Bradley Johnson
County Fire Chief Donny Green Receives Award for 15 years of Leadership
County Firefighter Danny Parker Receives Honorary Liftetime Membership (Photo Provided)

Jimmy Martin of the Main Station on King Ridge Road was named "County Firefighter of the Year" Saturday night during the department's annual awards banquet held at the Smithville Church of God annex.

County Fire Chief Donny Green, who presided over the ceremony, said Martin met all the department's criteria in earning this award. "Jimmy was selected by the committee for his excellence in training attendance, incident response attendance, and community service. Jimmy's involvement in our department and our community shows that a volunteer firefighter can portray a professional image in the fire service just as well, or better, than a paid career firefighter."

Lieutenant Anthony Boyd received the "Officer of the Year" award. Chief Green says the same three elements used to select the "Firefighter of the Year" are also used by the department in honoring the Officer of the Year, training attendance, incident response attendance, and community service. "Lt. Boyd is a valuable asset to our department. Not only does he set an excellent benchmark for the evaluated categories, Anthony performs countless hours of "behind the scenes" service to the department. He data loads all the fire department's incident reports, maintains incident and training attendance records, and various other record keeping functions. Lt. Boyd takes care of issuing equipment to firefighters and has assumed the role of laundering all the department's personal protective clothing to keep it in good condition. We have a very talented and dedicated group of officers and Anthony is one that makes the DeKalb County Fire Department operate very smoothly."

The "Rookie" award went to Bradley Johnson of the Main Station on King Ridge Road. Chief Green says this award is totally based on hours of training and goes to a firefighter in his first year of service to the department. " Bradley has attended the 64-hour Basic Firefighters School, the 22-hour Live Burn School, completed the TARS Vehicle Rescue Training, and completed several specialized training courses through the Tennessee Fire and Codes Enforcement Academy. His level of commitment and dedication to our department is obvious and Bradley's training examples is one that we want other recruits to follow."

Meanwhile Danny Parker of the Johnson's Chapel Station received a twenty year service pin and along with an "Honorary Lifetime Membership Award." Lieutenant Michael Lawrence was presented a pin for ten years of service, and Captain Mark Young, Calvin Tramel of the Midway Station, Jeremy Neal of the Short Mountain Highway Station, and Tim Pedigo of the Blue Springs Station were recognized for five years, each receiving a pin for their length of service.

Chief Donny Green was presented a special award for his fifteen years of service as county fire chief and for the work he has done to upgrade and improve the services of the department over the years. The award was presented by his fellow firefighters.

Several members of the department were also presented gift certificates and cash awards, funded through a federal safer grant, which Chief Green says is to help retain and recruit firefighters."In 2008, we were awarded a Safer Grant from the federal government that is a non-matching local grant and does not require any local funding, it's 100% federal, to help us recruit and retain firefighters. Some of the things we've done is provide these training award incentives for firefighters such as length of service awards, firefighter of the year, rookie of the year, and for firefighters who made 100% of their monthly training or at least 75% of their monthly training. We've made those awards and we hope that's a tool we can use to help encourage our firefighters to stay on board and continue being involved with training in our department." Firefighters who made 100% of their monthly training each received $400 and those who made 75% of their monthly training took home $200 each.

DCFD members receiving 2009 Training Incentive Awards are as follows:

100% Attendance: ($400 awards--*prorated for members with 100% but less than one year of service)
Duncan Block
Anthony Boyd
Jay Cantrell
Kyle Casper
Billy Crymes
*Nelson Davis
Donny Green
Anthony Johnson
Bradley Johnson
Darrell Johnson
Donnie Johnson
Jerry W. Johnson
Michael Lawrence
Ronald Merriman
Roy Merriman
Brad Mullinax
Bob Myracle
*Jason Neal
Jeremy Neal
Dale Pack
Steve Phillips
Shawn Puckett
Howard Pyles
Steve Repasy
Richard Roberts
*Bradley Taylor
Calvin Tramel
C.J. Tramel
Hugh Washer
Jeff Williams
Chris Wyke
Mark Young

75% Attendance: $200 awards--*prorated for members with 75% but less than one year of service)

*Lee Ansel
Jeff Bogle
Joseph Bowen
Justin Brooks
Kelley Cantrell
*Kevin Cripps
Larry Dalton
Billy Fuson
Corey Killian
Dick Kinsey
Danny Parker
Tim Pedigo
Jimmy Martin
Kenny Maynard
Jeff Rankhorn
*Eric Snow
*Luke Tucker

Poteete and Hale Receive MVP Awards at DCHS Football Banquet

January 10, 2010
Dwayne Page
 MVP Award Winners April Hale and Hunter Poteete
DCHS Receiver Abram Edwards and Tiger Coach Steve Trapp
DCHS Quarterback Hunter Poteete
DCHS Football Award Winners
DCHS Football Cheerleader Award Winners

Senior Quarterback Hunter Poteete was named the 2009 DCHS Football Most Valuable Player at Saturday night's awards banquet.

Poteete, one of the mid-state's most outstanding quarterbacks, helped guide the Tigers to an overall 7-5 season, which ended in the second round of the TSSAA playoffs in November against Maplewood.

Tiger Coach Steve Trapp says Poteete is a special player. "He just had an excellent career. He's just an all around good kid and it shows in the kind of athlete he is. This year he was thirty something yards short of three thousand yards. The last two seasons he's just been remarkable as far as the numbers he has put up. Over seven thousand career yards, that's in the top five is the TSSAA. He has twelve or thirteen records in the top five as a passer in the state of Tennessee. That's just remarkable. I never thought anything like that would happen here at DeKalb County but it's just an attribute to what he puts into it and the type of person he is."

Meanwhile, DCHS senior, April Hale was named Most Valuable Cheerleader for the 2009 football season. Hale was a senior captain and a four-year member of the cheerleading squad.

In addition to MVP honors for Poteete, Coach Trapp announced during the banquet that the home Jersies of both Poteete and Senior Receiver Abram Edwards are being retired, not their numbers, just their Jersies.

Coach Trapp says both Poteete and Edwards deserve this honor."For 2008 and 2009 Hunter and Abram have made multiple All-State Teams. They've been recognized as two of the greatest players in DeKalb County football history. But they would be the first to admit that they couldn't accomplish anything without their teammates. We're retiring their home Jersies, not the numbers, so we'll still see number ten and number one running around out there. But as far as the Jersies they wore out there in front of the home crowd on Friday nights, we plan on hanging those Jersies up in the new fieldhouse to give all the new players and future players of DeKalb County football the opportunity to see two special young men who were two special athletes for DeKalb County football."

Other football awards were as follows:

Best Offensive Player: Abram Edwards

Best Defensive Player: Kevin Kijanski

Best Offensive Lineman: Tony Schellinburger

Best Defensive Lineman: Devin Thomas

Best Offensive Back: Tyler Weatherby

Best Defensive Back: Matt Giles

Best Receiver: Travon Johnson

Best Linebacker: Matt Collier

Best Special Teams Player :Shane Salley and Zach Taylor

Most Improved: Gage Brown

Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award: Abram Edwards

Other cheerleading awards were as follows:

Best Stunts: Heather Hughes

Most Spirited: Quincie Winchester

Best Jumps: Johnna Roller

Best Dance: Johnna Roller

Most Improved: Grace Webb

(Dedication, Excellence, Attitude, Responsibility) D.E.A.R. Award: Erin Colwell

The annual DCHS Football banquet was held Saturday night at Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.

U.S. Census Count to Begin Soon

January 9, 2010
Dwayne Page

The U.S. Census Bureau will be sending a form to you soon.

Cameron Parish, Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, urges you to fill out the survey and send it back in. Otherwise, you will get a personal visit from a Census representative. "The Census Bureau conducts a survey every ten years to count the population. This Census is going to occur on April 1st, 2010."

"In previous years, it has been mainly a door to door operation but this year we're sending out a form to households. It's a ten question survey that folks will be expected to send in immediately once received.. It is a simple short form and we believe this will encourage participation. The only instance in which you should receive a visit from someone with the Census Bureau is if that form is not returned within the following month after receiving the form."

"On this year's form, we have just ten questions. Among those questions is ‘how many people are living in the household'. That is the most important question you can answer on that form. They ask questions with regard to race and ethnicity. They also ask for the sexes and ages of the folks who are living with you as well as things pertaining to whether or not that person stays somewhere else frequently or whether that person is a full time resident of the home."

"Forms will begin arriving in mid-March and everyone in the nation should have a copy of this ten question survey in their hands by April 1st, either delivered to their mail box or directly to their front door. If you don't fill out the forms someone will probably come and visit your house beginning in May to gather that information from you personally. So if you don't want a knock on the door go ahead and fill out the form and send it to us."

Our goal is to increase participation here and raise awareness of it's importance because the Census determines how much money DeKalb County can receive for the construction and improvement of schools, roads, health care, and other services. The eligibility for the money is not based solely on demand but it's based on the official numbers of the people living in the area, which are counted only every ten years by the U.S. Census Bureau. If those numbers are inaccurate, the county isn't going to get it's share of dollars that it needs to make improvements and attract desirable employers, such as manufacturing and retail so we want everyone to fill out the ten question survey and return it as quickly as possible so the county will receive the funds it is due."

"We've identified certain groups that have historically been less likely to fill out those surveys. Among those groups are newly arriving immigrants, the Hispanic population, senior citizens, the disabled, and the African-American population, so we're making special outreach efforts to contact those folks and encourage them to fill out the form. If it's a challenge for them to fill it out, we're offering assistance to help them understand the importance of why they need to be counted.."

The information gathered on the survey is confidential. Personal information is confidential for seventy two years. There are no questions on the form with regard to legal status. Since 1790, everyone in the country has been counted whether they were citizens nor not, free or slave. So it's really not of any importance where that person comes from or what their legal status is. No information will be shared with any law enforcement agency."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau is now looking for applicants to fill thousands of jobs this spring in neighborhoods across the state.

If you are interested in working in the 2010 Census, call toll free at 1-866-861-2010 or go online to www.2010censusjobs.gov

For a temporary job with flexible hours, on-the-job training and good pay, remember: 1-866-861-2010 or www.2010censusjobs.gov.

Smithville Police Arrest Two for Theft and One for DUI

January 8, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have made two more arrests this week on theft charges and one for driving under the influence.

24 year old Tracy Ann Thomason of 439 Morgan Drive was arrested on Monday, January 4th for theft of property. Officer Matt Holmes, in his report, states that he responded to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital where he met with the complainant, Tia Young who told him that a female had been in the ER that morning and had stolen multiple items from the hospital. Young said that the suspect had just left the ER and was somewhere in the hospital. Officer Holmes located the suspect, Thomason, outside of the hospital in the parking lot and brought her inside the lobby where he noticed that she had a blanket inside her jacket. The woman, Thomason, said that someone in the ER told her she could have it. After further investigation, Officer Holmes learned that nobody in the ER told her she could take anything. Multiple office supplies were found under a trash bag inside a trash can in the bathroom. When Officer Holmes asked Thomason if she took the property found inside the bathroom, she stated she did not remember taking them. All the stolen property was returned to the owners. Bond for Thomason was set at $2,500 and her court date is January 21st.

23 year old Ashley Dawn Golden of 225 Big Hurricane Road was arrested on Wednesday, January 6th for theft under $500.00. K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow, in his report, states that he received a call of a shoplifter at Wal Mart who was being detained in the office. Upon arrival, Officer Tatrow made contact with Golden. He asked her what was going on and Golden stated that she had stolen some stuff and she was stopped at the door. Golden said that she was asked by someone to steal the stuff from Wal Mart. The total amount of merchandise came to $443.40. Items taken were computer software & DVD's. Bond for Golden was set at $2,500 and her court date is February 11th.

26 year old Nicolas Reyes of 532 Carter Street was arrested last Saturday, January 2nd for a first offense of driving under the influence. According to the report, Corporal Travis K Bryant and Officer Matt Holmes stopped a vehicle traveling west on East Broad Street for driving 55 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone. Officer Bryant then made contact with the driver and identified him as Reyes. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person, had slurred speech, and was unsteady on his feet. Reyes submitted to a portable breath test which indicated "FAIL". Due to a language barrier, no other field sobriety tests could be performed. Reyes was then arrested and transported to the Smithville Police Department where he submitted to a breathalyzer test which indicated his blood/alcohol level to be .147. Bond for Reyes was set at $1,500.

Meanwhile, anyone having any information on the following offenses is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

On Christmas Eve, jewelry, camcorder, DVD player & a 32 inch flat screen TV were taken from Mindy Evans & Mandy Sullivan's residences at 425 Kendra Drive.

On December 5th, Headers for a Camaro were taken from Dakota Nokes' residence at 481 West Broad Street. Also on January 3rd,a Stanley tool set and a trailer ball hitch were taken from this address.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

DeKalb County Fire Department Incident Responses Up in 2009

January 8, 2010
Donny Green

The DeKalb County Fire Department has compiled its 2009 Incident Response Summary.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green says overall, 2009 fire incident responses in the county were up by 64 calls from 2008. In 2008, the department responded to a total of 410 fire incidents. The department responded to 474 fire incident responses in 2009. This count does not include the 391 rural medical first responder calls that county fire department personnel answered.

Green says with DeKalb County's rural population growing at rates higher than the cities' population growth in DeKalb County, the department continues to experience annual increases in its rural call volume. Even though 2009 was an extremely wet year, the department responded to the same number of grass fires as it did in 2008.

The following is a breakdown of each type of fire incident response call that the department answered in 2009:

Incident Type:
Structure-76 (2008) 64 (2009)

Wildland/Grass/Debris-73 (2008) 73 (2009)

Auto Wrecks- 126 (2008) 151 (2009)

Vehicle Fires- 25 (2008) 36 (2009)

Landing Zones- 18 (2008) 20 (2009)

Extrication/Entrapment- 31(2008) 25 (2009)

Hazmat- 0 (2008) 0 (2009)

Alarms- 54 (2008) 64 (2009)

Misc.- 7 (2008) 41 (2009)

TOTAL- 410 (2008) 474 (2009)

Smithville Police Charge Two Men with Theft of Utility Trailer

January 7, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged 28 year old Garth Cantrell and 32 year old Jason Cripps with theft of a utility trailer taken from Whaley Street on November 29th belonging to Jayson Johnson. Officer Matt Holmes made the arrests on January 6th.

Lieutenant Steven Leffew, Officer in Charge, reports that on January 5th the police department recovered the stolen utility trailer in Westmoreland.

Lieutenant Leffew, in a brief statement, said "I would like to commend Officer Holmes for the many man hours dedicated to this case. I would also like to thank Sheriff Patrick Ray and Detective Mike Billings for their assistance.

Both Cantrell and Cripps are charged with theft over $1000. Bond for each is $2,500 and they will be in General Sessions Court on January 21st.

Department of Health Advises Common Sense Safety in Extremely Cold Weather

January 7, 2010
Dwayne Page

Cold winter weather is gripping Tennessee this week, with more bitter cold temperatures and snow predicted for much of the state in the coming days. The Department of Health is reminding
Tennesseans to take precautions to stay safe during extreme cold weather.

"Winter weather with temperatures below freezing can be deadly, and we want Tennesseans to take the needed precautions to protect themselves from extreme cold very seriously," said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. "Families should also review their plans now for
transportation and child care if schools and daycares are dismissed for snow."

When exposed to cold temperatures, the human body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up the body's stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Hypothermia affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. Hypothermia is particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and may not be able to do anything about it. Hypothermia is most likely to occur at very cold temperatures, but can occur even at temperatures above 40° F if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat or submersion in cold water.

Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing, and results in a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

Cold weather also puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's advice about shoveling snow, chopping wood or performing other hard work in the cold. Otherwise, if you have to do tiring outdoor chores, dress warmly and
work slowly. Remember your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don't overdo it.

The following tips will help keep you and your family safe and healthy during extremely cold weather:

Try to stay indoors when weather is extremely cold, especially if winds are high. If you must go outdoors, make trips outside as brief as possible.

When going outside during very cold weather, adults and children
should wear:
*a hat
*a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
*sleeves that are snug at the wrist
*mittens (they're warmer than gloves)
*a water-resistant coat and boots
*several layers of loose-fitting clothing
Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven to reduce body heat loss caused by wind. Wind-resistant fabrics are best. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton.

Stay dry, as wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.

Avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while fueling and deicing your car or using a snow blower. These substances in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body.

Do not ignore shivering. It's an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Alcohol can also impair judgment and lead to ignoring signs of cold stress on the body.

Walking on ice is also extremely dangerous. Many cold weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as free of
ice as possible by using rock salt or another chemical deicing compound. Sand may also be
used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.

Coach Watson Brown to Speak at Chamber Banquet

January 6, 2010
Dwayne Page
Coach Watson Brown

The Annual Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet is set for Tuesday, February 16th at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church. The special evening begins with a "Silent Auction" at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner and program start at 6:00 p.m.

Chamber Director Suzanne Williams says the keynote speaker will be Coach Watson Brown, head football coach of the Tennessee Tech University Golden Eagles. Coach Brown returned to his hometown of Cookeville as the 10th head football coach in Tech history. A proven veteran in the coaching profession, Brown is known as one of the best offensive minds in football. The 2010 season will be Coach Brown's 38th year of coaching collegiate football, and his 26th year as a collegiate head coach. Brown's many achievements as a student-athlete and later as a coach in the state of Tennessee have not gone unnoticed. In 2003, he was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition, the Leadership DeKalb Alumni group will present their winners for "Community Leader of the Year" and "Legacy" awards. The newly-elected Chamber Board Members will be introduced and the retiring directors will be honored.

Along with the wonderful entertainment by local singer, Mercedes Luna, an excellent meal will be served. Each chamber member is asked to donate an item for the Silent Auction. Please contact the Chamber office at 597-4163 as soon as possible and let them know what you will offer. They will be glad to pick it up.

Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased from any of the board members. The office is located at 301 N. Public Square, Smithville. Tickets will be available by January 22nd.

County Clerk Urges Businesses Operating without a License to Take Advantage of State Amnesty Program

January 5, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Clerk Mike Clayborn

Businesses in DeKalb County and across Tennessee who don't have a business license and have not been paying taxes could receive amnesty under a plan meant to get them onto the state's books.

The Department of Revenue says it will waive penalties for businesses that have been avoiding Tennessee's business tax if they voluntarily register and agree to pay three years' back taxes.

DeKalb County Clerk Mike Clayborn says the program, which started last month, comes after state officials discovered thousands of businesses not on the books when they took over collections from local clerks last summer. "We have been telling the folks that the business tax (administration) is being taken over by the state department of revenue. They have been checking each (county) clerk's records against IRS records. They have already found some six thousand businesses (in the state) that are operating without a license."

"What they propose to do is offer amnesty to any business owner (in violation) who will come forward. They will go back three years. You (violators) will have to pay based on what you've made during those three years. Of course, you'll also have to get a business license. If you don't do this (come forward) and they have to audit you, they'll go back from six to ten years and you'll have to pay penalty and interest for each one of those years. This will be offered for several months. So I would advise anyone who is operating without a business license to come forward because it is beneficial to you."

" The two things they are looking for are people who are operating without a business license and people who are delinquent on the taxes they already owe. Those who are delinquent will not be offered amnesty. That's only for those who do not have a business license. So again, if you're operating without a business license, you need to contact the state department of revenue or come up by my office (in the courthouse) and we'll give you the information and help you take care of that."

"We (county clerks) will be out of the business tax business, where we used to could help people and advise people. Now it will all be handled through the Tennessee Department of Revenue. You will file your return to them, they'll send out the paperwork to you. You will complete your return, turn it into them, and if everything adds up then they will email us to issue you a new license. If there's any questions, they will take care of it. "

This past legislative session, the 106th General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 530, shifting the administration and collection of business tax from local municipalities and counties to the Department of Revenue. With this change, the Department of Revenue will use its resources and experience in tax administration to collect the business tax, resulting in greater efficiency in the collection process and increased revenue for the State and for local governments.

"This undertaking is a true partnership between state and the local governments," said Commissioner Reagan Farr. "While increasing revenue through improved tax compliance, we also plan on simplifying the tax process for business owners including developing a new, simplified tax return and initiating major education programs."

Beginning with Classification 1 taxpayers, due Feb. 28, 2010, all business tax returns will now be filed with the Tennessee Department of Revenue. Businesses will continue to obtain business licenses from the county clerks and/or municipal officials.

The Department of Revenue is working closely with local municipalities and counties to make this transition a smooth process. The department is currently gathering registration data from the counties and cities to register the business owners and mail out tax returns by the end of 2009. More information is available at the Department of Revenue's Web site www.TN.gov/revenue.

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the department collected $10.2 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.9 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.TN.gov/revenue.


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