The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Public Advertisement (Mayor-Ald.)

Reference Number: MTAS-1633
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: October 12, 2015
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According to the 1983 Municipal Purchasing Law, purchases, leases and lease-purchases of less than $2,500 do not have to be publicly advertised.

Municipal purchases, leases,and lease-purchases of more than $1,000 but less than $2,500 do not require public advertisement but do require, whenever possible, at least three competitive quotes. The municipal governing body may, by ordinance, increase this $1,000 limit to a maximum of 40% of the amount established under TCA 6-56-306 for purchases requiring public advertisement and competitive bidding.

Unless specifically exempt, all purchases, leases, and lease-purchases of like or related items usually bought alone or by two or more purchases totaling $2,500 or more during the fiscal year must be publicly advertised. The amount may be lowered or increased up to $10,000 by the municipality’s governing body. [1]

The municipality may exempt perishable goods from public advertisement requirements when the items are bought in the open market. Whoever authorizes the purchase must prepare a record specifying the amount paid, the items purchased and the vendor. This record must be provided at least monthly to the chief executive officer and the municipality’s governing body.

The municipality also may exempt fuel and fuel products from advertising requirements when the items are bought in the open market. Fuel and fuel products may be bought from the state general services contract where available. Purchases of natural gas and propane for re-sale do not have to be advertised.


[1] Cities with populations of not less than 40,000 nor more than 42,500 or populations over 150,000, according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent census may increase the minimum dollar amount required for public advertisement and competitive bidding to $25,000, provided that purchases between $10,000 and $25,000 are based upon three competitive bids (quotes).

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