Chris Butler is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org who covers Tennessee and his home state of Louisiana. Chris is based in Nashville. Contact him at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org and follow him on Facebook at "Chris-Butler-WriterJournalist" or on Twitter at cdbutler1204.

Money grab? Tennessee town increased tourist tax for no specific purpose

By   /  September 2, 2015  /  News, Tennessee  /  No Comments

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Anybody traveling through Columbia, Tenn. now pays a whopping 20 percent hotel tax, and the local politicians responsible for this evidently never had a specific plan for what to do with all that extra money.

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Photographing public records to save time a big no-no in Tennessee

By   /  August 31, 2015  /  News, Tennessee  /  No Comments

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In Tennessee you have the right to inspect public records for free but you do not have the right to photograph these records with an iPhone or any other camera, for that matter.

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Lawsuit challenges Nashville’s rules on Airbnb.com

By   /  August 26, 2015  /  News, Tennessee  /  No Comments

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A Nashville couple filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a recently enacted city ordinance they say restricts their rights to rent out their home short term to out-of-town visitors through Airbnb.com.

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Tennessee official uses state airplane to travel 170 miles for speech

By   /  August 24, 2015  /  News, Tennessee  /  No Comments

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Traveling 170 miles by plane — as opposed to an automobile — just to deliver a brief speech and pose for photographs is a good gig, if you have the means. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau did just that this week, according to a state memo.

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Tennessee open records may get a little less open

By   /  August 20, 2015  /  News, Tennessee, Transparency  /  No Comments

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Tennessee officials say they may charge people merely to look at public records, raising concerns about public access.

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Tennessee audit calls out city employees for not paying taxes

By   /  August 18, 2015  /  News, Tennessee  /  No Comments

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Several Dyersburg city employees are more than six months late paying their property taxes according to an audit that Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released last week, which emphasized city employees must set a better example.

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