When it comes to taxpayer waste, is Tina Turner the best?

When it comes to taxpayer waste, is Tina Turner the best?

A taxpayer-funded museum in Brownsville that honors singer Tina Turner has a nearly $50,000 deficit, according to a new audit.

As reported, in 2014, town officials forced Brownsville taxpayers to pay $20,000 to move Turner’s childhood schoolhouse a 15 mile-distance to the Delta Heritage Museum along Interstate 40. At the time town officials said the museum would generate more local tourism.

The museum draws funds from the town’s Delta Heritage Fund.

The one-room schoolhouse where Tina Turner attended school, which is now a museum honoring her (photo by Chris Butler).

An audit that Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released this week said the fund has a deficit fund equity of $49,260.

“The Delta Heritage Fund may not have the needed funds to pay its expenditures if the General Fund doesn’t cover or if the fund doesn’t raise its revenues,” the report said.

Mayor Bill Rawls did not return repeated requests for comment. Delta Heritage Museum Director Sonia Outlaw Clark also did not return repeated requests for comment.

The museum also showcases the home of Blues singer “Sleepy” John Estes.

Turner grew up in this rural area, about 65 miles northeast of Memphis, which runs along Interstate 40.

Turner’s childhood schoolhouse, built for African-Americans, consists of one room. Center officials have slightly renovated the schoolhouse and placed many of Turner’s costumes and gold records in the building, now officially known as the Tina Turner Museum.

Turner no longer lives in the United States. She now lives in Switzerland.

The interior of the Tina Turner Museum (photo by Chris Butler)

The Washington Post, in reporting Turner’s move to Europe, said Turner didn’t formally renounce her U.S. citizenship, as many outlets have reported, but instead took Swiss citizenship with the intent of losing her U.S. citizenship.

There are no tax penalties for loss of citizenship for Turner, the Post reported.

Turner didn’t attend the museum’s grand opening ceremony, according to various media reports.

Contact Christopher Butler at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org

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