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Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)

Original Author: Bingham, Pamela
Date of Material: 03/03/1999

Incorporation procedure

Effective Date of the Incorporation of a City

Reviewed Date: 05/14/2021
MTAS was asked when the incorporation of a city is considered effective.

You have asked a question as to when the incorporation of your city is considered effective. The County Election Commission certified the results of the incorporation referendum for your town. However, in accordance with state law, and affirmed by the State Election Commission, for municipalities with the general law Mayor-Aldermanic form of government, the effective date of incorporation is the date in which the Board of Mayor and Alderman take their oaths of office and assume their official duties. T.C.A. § 6-1-205 states in part as follows:

(a ) If the majority of votes cast are in favor of the adoption of this charter,it shall be deemed to have been adopted. The newly adopted charter shall not be effective until the first board takes office as provided in § 6-1-207.

T.C.A. § 6-1-207 provides:

(a) The county election commission shall call an election not later than sixty-two (62) days following the election for adoption of this charter, at which time municipal officials shall be chosen who shall take office immediately following the election. The qualifying deadline for filing nominating petitions shall be as described in § 2-5-101.

(b) In the election held pursuant to subsection (a), where there is more than one (1) alderman to be elected per ward, the alderman receiving the higher number of votes in each ward shall serve a four-year term. The alderman receiving the second higher number of votes shall serve an initial two-year term. All terms thereafter will be four (4) years.

( c) The mayor and each alderman shall serve the term for which they were elected or until their successors are elected and qualified.

In summary, as set forth in the relevant statutes, the municipality’s incorporation becomes effective after the mayor and alderman are elected and begin serving their terms.