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Counties in Tennessee

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Counties in the United States

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County-Related Pages
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There are 95 counties in Tennessee.[1]

Types of local government

Local government in Tennessee consists of:

  • Counties: There are 92 counties in Tennessee. Two of these, Shelby and Knox counties, operate under home rule charters. Three counties (not included in the count) are classified as service districts--they are not considered independent governments under state law.
  • Municipalities: There are 342 cities and towns in Tennessee. There are not significant legal differences between cities and towns.[2]
  • Metropolitan governments: There are 3 metropolitan governments in Tennessee. They are a form of city-county consolidation and exercise substantially all of the functions of both under state law. They are Nashville-Davidson, Lynchburg-Moore, and Hartsville-Trousdale.[3]
  • In addition, there are 469 special districts and 14 independent school districts.[2]

Further municipal classification:

All municipalities are governed under a charter. However, there is significant difference in the degree of local autonomy depending on the type of charter.

  • Home rule charter: 14 cities and towns operate under a home rule charter and exercise substantial local autonomy. They are Chattanooga, Clinton, East Ridge, Etowah, Johnson City, Knoxville, Lenoir City, Memphis, Mt. Juliet, Oak Ridge, Red Bank, Sevierville, Sweetwater and Whitwell.
  • Private act charter: 212 cities and towns operate under a private act charter which was granted by the state General Assembly. While the charter is individualized to the city or town, the General Assembly and state statutes maintain more control over the municipality compared to home rule municipalities.
  • General law: The remaining cities and towns are incorporated with a standardized charter set by state statutes. They may be incorporated under a Mayor-Aldermanic Charter (T.C.A., Title 6, Chapters 1-17); Uniform City Manager-Commission Charter (T.C.A., Title 6, Chapters 18-29); or Modified City Manager-Council Charter (T.C.A., Title 6, Chapters 30-36). A Metropolitan Government Charter (T.C.A., Title 7, Chapters 1-6) also falls in this category, but statutes authorize considerable freedom for metropolitan governments to individualize their charters.[4]

Initiative process availability

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Tennessee

The 2 home rule charter counties, Shelby and Knox, authorize initiative for charter amendments.

The 3 metropolitan governments, Nashville-Davidson, Lynchburg-Moore, and Hartsville-Trousdale, authorize initiative for charter amendments.

At least 7 cities have initiative for ordinances through their private act charter. These are Algood, Bristol, Cookville, Eagleville, Gatlinburg, Jackson, and Murfreesboro.

At least 2 cities have initiative for ordinances through their home rule charter. These are Chattanooga and Knoxville. As charter amendments may be proposed by ordinance, this process has been used for charter amendments as well.

County website evaluations

See also: Evaluation of Tennessee county websites
  • 21 Tennessee counties put their budgets on their websites.
  • 23 counties included information on their websites about public government meetings.
  • 51 included information about the county's elected officials.
  • 56 included information about the county's administrative officials.
  • 12 gave information about permits and zoning in the county.
  • 16 of the counties put information on their websites about external audits.
  • None of the counties provided information about their contracts with county vendors.
  • None of the county websites disclosed whether the county belonged to any government sector lobbying associations.
  • None of the counties provided information on how to request public records using the Tennessee Open Records Act.
  • 16 county websites provided some information about county taxes.

List of counties

County County seat
Anderson County, Tennessee Clinton, Tennessee
Bedford County, Tennessee Shelbyville, Tennessee
Benton County, Tennessee Camden, Tennessee
Bledsoe County, Tennessee Pikeville, Tennessee
Blount County, Tennessee Maryville, Tennessee
Bradley County, Tennessee Cleveland, Tennessee
Campbell County, Tennessee Jacksboro, Tennessee
Cannon County, Tennessee Woodbury, Tennessee
Carroll County, Tennessee Huntingdon, Tennessee
Carter County, Tennessee Elizabethton, Tennessee
Cheatham County, Tennessee Ashland City, Tennessee
Chester County, Tennessee Henderson, Tennessee
Claiborne County, Tennessee Tazewell, Tennessee
Clay County, Tennessee Celina, Tennessee
Cocke County, Tennessee Newport, Tennessee
Coffee County, Tennessee Manchester, Tennessee
Crockett County, Tennessee Alamo, Tennessee
Cumberland County, Tennessee Crossville, Tennessee
Davidson County, Tennessee** Nashville, Tennessee
Decatur County, Tennessee Decaturville, Tennessee
DeKalb County, Tennessee Smithville, Tennessee
Dickson County, Tennessee Charlotte, Tennessee
Dyer County, Tennessee Dyersburg, Tennessee
Fayette County, Tennessee Somerville, Tennessee
Fentress County, Tennessee Jamestown, Tennessee
Franklin County, Tennessee Winchester, Tennessee
Gibson County, Tennessee Trenton, Tennessee
Giles County, Tennessee Pulaski, Tennessee
Grainger County, Tennessee Rutledge, Tennessee
Greene County, Tennessee Greeneville, Tennessee
Grundy County, Tennessee Altamont, Tennessee
Hamblen County, Tennessee Morristown, Tennessee
Hamilton County, Tennessee Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hancock County, Tennessee Sneedville, Tennessee
Hardeman County, Tennessee Bolivar, Tennessee
Hardin County, Tennessee Savannah, Tennessee
Hawkins County, Tennessee Rogersville, Tennessee
Haywood County, Tennessee Brownsville, Tennessee
Henderson County, Tennessee Lexington, Tennessee
Henry County, Tennessee Paris, Tennessee
Hickman County, Tennessee Centerville, Tennessee
Houston County, Tennessee Erin, Tennessee
Humphreys County, Tennessee Waverly, Tennessee
Jackson County, Tennessee Gainesboro, Tennessee
Jefferson County, Tennessee Dandridge, Tennessee
Johnson County, Tennessee Mountain City, Tennessee
Knox County, Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee
Lake County, Tennessee Tiptonville, Tennessee
Lauderdale County, Tennessee Ripley, Tennessee
Lawrence County, Tennessee Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
Lewis County, Tennessee Hohenwald, Tennessee
Lincoln County, Tennessee Fayetteville, Tennessee
Loudon County, Tennessee Loudon, Tennessee
Macon County, Tennessee Lafayette, Tennessee
Madison County, Tennessee Jackson, Tennessee
Marion County, Tennessee Jasper, Tennessee
Marshall County, Tennessee Lewisburg, Tennessee
Maury County, Tennessee Columbia, Tennessee
McMinn County, Tennessee Athens, Tennessee
McNairy County, Tennessee Selmer, Tennessee
Meigs County, Tennessee Decatur, Tennessee
Monroe County, Tennessee Madisonville, Tennessee
Montgomery County, Tennessee Clarksville, Tennessee
Moore County, Tennessee Lynchburg, Tennessee
Morgan County, Tennessee Wartburg, Tennessee
Obion County, Tennessee Union City, Tennessee
Overton County, Tennessee Livingston, Tennessee
Perry County, Tennessee Linden, Tennessee
Pickett County, Tennessee Byrdstown, Tennessee
Polk County, Tennessee Benton, Tennessee
Putnam County, Tennessee Cookeville, Tennessee
Rhea County, Tennessee Dayton, Tennessee
Roane County, Tennessee Kingston, Tennessee
Robertson County, Tennessee Springfield, Tennessee
Rutherford County, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Scott County, Tennessee Huntsville, Tennessee
Sequatchie County, Tennessee Dunlap, Tennessee
Sevier County, Tennessee Sevierville, Tennessee
Shelby County, Tennessee** Memphis, Tennessee
Smith County, Tennessee Carthage, Tennessee
Stewart County, Tennessee Dover, Tennessee
Sullivan County, Tennessee Blountville
Sumner County, Tennessee Gallatin, Tennessee
Tipton County, Tennessee Covington, Tennessee
Trousdale County, Tennessee Hartsville, Tennessee
Unicoi County, Tennessee Erwin, Tennessee
Union County, Tennessee Maynardville, Tennessee
Van Buren County, Tennessee Spencer, Tennessee
Warren County, Tennessee McMinnville, Tennessee
Washington County, Tennessee Jonesborough, Tennessee
Wayne County, Tennessee Waynesboro, Tennessee
Weakley County, Tennessee Dresden, Tennessee
White County, Tennessee Sparta, Tennessee
Williamson County, Tennessee Franklin, Tennessee
Wilson County, Tennessee Lebanon, Tennessee

** Consolidated city/county government

External links