A governmental entity may charge the reasonable costs incurred in producing copies of public records and is required to provide an estimate of the reasonable costs. Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)(7)(C). The reasonable costs that may be charged for copies of public records are set forth in the Schedule of Reasonable Charges (“the Schedule”) promulgated by the Office of Open Records Counsel.

The Schedule provides that a governmental entity may charge 15 cents ($0.15) per 8 ½ x 11 or 8 ½ x 14 black and white copy and 50 cents ($0.50) per 8 ½ x 11 or 8 ½ x 14 color copy, unless the entity’s cost to produce a copy exceeds the threshold amount set out above.

A governmental entity may also charge for the labor involved in producing copies of records. The Schedule generally allows a records custodian to charge a requestor the “hourly wage of the employee(s) reasonably necessary to produce the requested information” after one (1) hour of work has been done by the custodian in producing the requested material.

If charges for copies are imposed in accordance with the Schedule, the charges are presumed reasonable. If you believe an estimate of reasonable costs or other costs imposed are unreasonable, please contact our office.