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Definitions and Examples

Reference Number: MTAS-764
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: July 18, 2018
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A good working definition of “surplus city property” would be: Any city-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or similar goods that are obsolete and/or unused by the city, are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, and that have been declared to be surplus to the city’s needs by a vote of the city’s governing board.

Items most commonly sold by cities as surplus property include:

Vehicles and Equipment

  • Fire trucks that have been replaced by newer models
  • Used automobiles
  • Lawn mowers and tractors
  • Old computers and related equipment
  • Obsolete or inefficient hand tools
  • Desks, chairs, and other office equipment
  • Unclaimed goods. Items found on city properties and have not been claimed by their owners after a reasonable period of time – bicycles, for instance.


  • Unusable remnants of bulk supplies (copper wire, water pipes, etc.)
  • Items salvaged from building demolition or remodeling projects.


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