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.”


Local Ace Hardware Stores Host One-Day Bucket Promotion For Children’s Hospital

Nineteen regional Ace Hardware stores in Georgia and Tennessee will participate in one-day bucket promotion on Saturday, July 23rd to raise money and support Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. Customers who make a $5 donation at participating Ace Hardware stores on July 23 will receive a limited edition five-gallon bucket and 20% off* most ... (click for more)

Tennessee Selected To Join Three Branch Institute To Improve Child Safety And Prevent Child Fatalities

Tennessee was one of eight states competitively selected to participate in the  Three Branch Institute to Improve Child Safety and Prevent Child Fatalities , a project of the National Governor’s Association’s Center for Best Practices, the National Conference of State Legislatures, Casey Family Programs, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National ... (click for more)

Hixson Man Charged With Sending Threatening Emails To General Sessions Court Judge

A 30-year-old Hixson man has been charged with making threats to kill General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom after police said they found evidence to tie him to recent threats against the judge. David Lee Graham, of 1730 Colorado St., is charged with retaliation against a judge. His bond was raised to $100,000. Detective Ric Whaley said he had been conducting an investigation ... (click for more)

Man Arrested For Confronting Southside Grocery Employee With Gun

Brandon Jamal Appleberry, 27, was arrested on Monday after an altercation with an employee at Southside Grocery on West 38 th Street, officers said. Marty Witt, 44, told police that the suspect confronted him with a gun in his hand. Officers said security video from the store clearly showed Appleberry arguing with several people outside while holding a gun. The defendant ... (click for more)

Lock Her Up? - And Response

It's concerning that the Republican Party elite attending the recent convention would indict, convict and jail a political opponent, when the FBI found no criminal intent to compromise national security and no other law violations were found. This "lock her up" mob mentality is third world, over-the-edge behavior that has no place in a country based on the rule-of-law, where ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Double Travesties

Back when we were kids the old guys taught us how to throw a one-two punch. It’s pretty impressive if you do it right, which is to jab your left fist into the thug’s face and then, as though it was a symphony, complete the combination as you deliver a powerful right cross to the same nose. If the thug has a gun, it doesn’t work as well. But, boy, did our community ever get clobbered ... (click for more)