Bonds Issued Under Local Government Public Obligations Act of 1986

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This act is codified in T.C.A. §§ 9-21-101 through 9-21-1017. Its purpose was to consolidate statutes pertaining to debt obligations of the county and to provide a uniform and comprehensive statutory framework authorizing any local government to issue long- term debt to fund costly capital improvement projects.

Authorized purposes for issuing notes and bonds are listed under T.C.A. § 9-21- 105(20). Also, any local government may issue general obligation bonds under this act for certain unfunded pension obligations if approved by the state funding board after receiving a recommendation by the comptroller or the comptroller's designee.  T.C.A. § 9-21-127. The powers of local governments are described in T.C.A. § 9-21-107. All interest income received by investors buying notes or bonds issued under this act is generally exempt from federal income taxes, and by statute, exempt from all state, county, and municipal taxation except inheritance, transfer, and estate taxes.  T.C.A. § 9-21-117. However, there are federal restrictions regarding earnings from borrowed funds, so it is important for counties to consult with a financial advisor regarding these arbitrage regulations.

All notes issued under this act must first be authorized by resolution adopted by the county legislative body and then approved by the state director of local finance, a division of the state comptroller of the treasury. Before the director of local finance will approve notes, the county must adopt a balanced budget, which must also be approved by this same director.  T.C.A. §§ 9-21-403, 9-21-404.

The bonds and notes that can be issued under the Local Government Public Obligations Act are described on the pages below.