Study Shows Tennessee’s Debt Ratio To Be Lowest In The Nation

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

One of the country’s top bond rating agencies analyzed debt ratios in all 50 states and concluded that Tennessee’s ratio is the lowest. The study, conducted by New York-based Fitch Ratings, uses a metric that is calculated by combining the state’s net tax-supported debt and unfunded pension liabilities then measuring them against the state’s personal income level.

  Tennessee’s ratio of debt and pension liabilities to personal income was 1.8 percent. No other state had a ratio below 2.2 percent and four states had ratios above 20 percent.

 

Fitch plans to use the debt ratios as a factor in evaluating states’ credit ratings. Favorable ratings from Fitch and the other major rating agencies can translate to lower interest rates when the state borrows money, resulting in savings for taxpayers.

 

Fitch released a similar report last year, in which Tennessee also had the lowest debt ratio.

 

“There’s a simple reason why our state’s debt rate is so low – we borrow a small amount of money relative to the size of our government and we repay it ­ quickly,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “That’s a credit to our state legislators, who have managed our finances very wisely. They have helped keep the burden that future generations of Tennesseans will have to repay low.”

 

“Legislators also deserve credit for adequately funding our state pension plan,” Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. added. “Independent actuaries determine how much money we need to put into the pension plan each year to meet all of our obligations. Unlike some other states, our legislators have a history of following the actuarial recommendations. Also, the team that manages the pension fund’s money has done an excellent job of maximizing investment returns during difficult economic times.”


Young Professionals Association Hosts Eighth Annual Awards Program

The Young Professionals Association of Chattanooga (YPAC) hosted its eighth annual YP Awards program today at the Chattanoogan.  This year’s winners in each category are: YP of the Year Tiffanie Robinson, Lamp Post Group YP-Friendly Business of the Year Monen Restaurants YP Entrepreneur of the Year Jorge Parra, Taqueria Jalisco YP Corporate ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Business Calendar For Feb. 28-March 6

March 2015   SA/28 24Hour Generator at Mad, Bad, and Dangerous 3:00 p.m. Girls Preparatory School: 205 Island Ave. 24Hour Generator is a new event designed for enterprising high school girls across the region. Hosted by The Company Lab (CO.LAB) and held as part of GPS’s inaugural  Mad, Bad, and Dangerous  event, 24Hour Generator ... (click for more)

Signal Council, Residents Concerned About Unsafe Driving En Route To Schools

The town council of Signal Mountain is dealing with a traffic problem caused by increased traffic to and from Signal Mountain Middle High School and Nolan Elementary. Mayor Dick Gee said, “This is a tough issue that we wouldn’t have to deal with if everyone would drive responsibly.” The main concern is for safety and in November the council agreed to try to fix the problem by ... (click for more)

88-Year-Old Woman In Bradley County Severely Burned After Going Back In Burning House For Pets

Two people were injured in a house fire in Bradley County on Friday.   Shortly before noon, Bradley County EMS responded to a reported house fire on Hancock Road.   Two ambulances and a shift commander responded. Initial reports were that there were two people injured. When EMS crews arrived, Bradley County firefighters were performing resuscitative ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Secret Train Ride

It was during Christmas of 2003 when Bennett Levin and his wife found themselves talking and worrying about the wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and at the nearby Bethesda Naval Hospital. Their wish was that they could do something meaningful, something really grand, for the soldiers who had lost limbs, their eyesight, and far worse. As ... (click for more)