Tennessee Leads!

Under Republican Leadership, Tennessee Continues to Lead the Nation


Under Republican leadership, the economy continues to thrive, as businesses grow and unemployment remains low

  • #1 in small business job growth. (Paychex Inc., 2019)
  • #1 Best Business Climate in the U.S. (Business Facilities‘ 15th Annual Rankings Report, 2019)
  • #1 for workforce development in the South Central Region. (Site Selection, Jan 2019)
  • Tennessee ranks #2 in the nation for advanced industry job growth.
  • From 2015-2019, Tennessee has received over 100,000 new job commitments.
  • Since Jan. 1, approximately 10,485 new jobs committments have been announced. (as of August 2019)
  • Unemployment remains near historic low levels — 3.5 percent as of June 2019.
  • As of August 2019, 90% of 2019’s job commitments are considered High Quality Job Commitments, and about 23% of current 2019 job commitments (43% of projects) will be located in rural TN.
  • More than 2.6 million Tennesseans are employed in the private sector.
  • According to the Secretary of State, new business filings increased 9 percent in the first quarter of 2019. Secretary Tre Hargett stated that 13,000 new entity filings were recorded, marking 30 consecutive quarters of positive year-over-year new business growth.
  • From 2015 to 2019, Tennessee has accumulated over $21.5 billion in capital through ECD projects.


Under Republican leadership, taxes remain low and Tennessee ranks top in the nation in fiscal management

  • Maintained our AAA bond rating
  • NO Personal income tax on wages and salaries
  • #1 state in the nation for fiscal stability (U.S. News and World Report, 2019)
  • Among least indebted states in the nation per capita
  • Tennessee is one of only five states without road debt
  • Cut $845 million in taxes since 2011
    • Reduced sales tax on food by nearly 30%
    • Phasing out of Hall income tax
    • Eliminated gift and inheritance taxes
    • Cut taxes on manufacturing to enhance job creation
  • Implemented a conservative fiscal strategy:
    • Cut more than $35.2 million in taxes as part of the fiscally responsible $38.6 billion FY 2019-2020 budget.
    • Eliminated the $22 million professional privilege tax.
    • Tossed the $6 million gym tax on smaller fitness facilities.
    • Reduced sales tax on fiber optic cable by $2.5 million.
    • Saved our agriculture industry professionals $750,000.
    • Slashed the $455,300 ammunition tax on law abiding citizens.
    • Reserved $15 million for additional tax cuts next year.
    • Invested $239 million into the state’s savings account (Rainy Day Fund), bringing its total to $1.1 billion.
  • The $38.6 billion balanced budget proposes state government maintains Tennessee’s sound fiscal practices by not taking on any new debt, continuing to reduce unnecessary spending through state government efficiencies, and putting a record investment in the state’s emergency savings account, better known as the Rainy Day Fund.
  • Historic deposit to the Rainy Day Fund of $225 million, bringing the emergency fund to the highest level in state history at $1.1 billion
  • Our record of low taxes and low debt now position us to be the very best stewards of the people’s money
  • State pooled investment fund at historic levels and surpassed a $12 billion balance. The active management of this fund by the TN Department of Treasury reduces the need to raise taxes in order to fund day-today operations of the state and local governments.
  • Tennessee ranks in the top 3 of states for best-funded pension plans (Pew Charitable Trusts 2019)


Under Republican leadership, Tennessee is making great strides in education

  • Made the largest investment in public education ever — $11.3 billion total state and federal funding for K-12 and higher education – all without a tax increase.
    • This includes $6.6 billion in K-12 funding
    • $211 million in new education dollars
    • $71 million for teacher pay raises
    • $39.4 million will fully fund the state’s Basic Education Program to cover growth and inflation in the funding formula
    • The budget also invests $40 million to secure our schools
    • $25 million will also expand vocational and technical higher education training opportunities for our future leaders
  • The approved Fiscal Year 19-20 budget invests over $5.3 billion state dollars in K-12 education.
  • 5 million Tennesseans ages 18 and over have earned a high school degree or higher.
  • Tennessee was named the fastest-improving state in the nation on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), across math, reading and science.
  • We’ve gone from the back of the pack in education results to being a state frequently cited as an innovator.
  • Tennessee has overhauled teacher tenure, implemented rigorous academic standards, and expanded access to quality school options.
  • Students are outpacing their peers across the country in their academic progress and showing that all students can grow and learn, regardless of their background, race, or socioeconomic status.
  • Tennessee continues to see the highest high school graduation rates ever — 89.1 percent.
  • Since 2011 the high school graduation rate has risen by 3.6 percent.
  • School districts across Tennessee are making gains in student academic achievement:
    • TNReady 2019 assessment results indicate that students across the state are performing better in almost all math subjects.
    • The TNReady scores also show that more than half the schools in Tennessee – 56 percent – improved their growth scores (TVAAS scores) from the previous year, with 41 percent of all schools earning a level 4 or 5 TVAAS rating which measures year-to-year growth.
  • The state’s average ACT score has reached an all-time high of 20.2, and with even more students taking the test.
  • Tennessee showed historic increases in the number of students taking and getting college credit for Advanced Placement courses, which supports a seamless transition into post-secondary education.
  • Under the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs, ALL Tennesseans have access to higher education tuition-free. This is a model that is garnering attention nationwide.
  • The “college going” rate has increased from 53.8 percent to 62 percent since 2007.
  • We implemented the Complete College Act and expanded statewide a successful pilot program that began at Chattanooga State, the SAILS program, which helps ensure more high school graduates are coming to college prepared for the coursework. Now, 15 percent fewer students need remedial work when they get to college.
  • Our goal that 55 percent of Tennesseans will have earned a certificate or degree by 2025 WILL happen. In fact, if we sustain our current momentum, we are on pace to meet the Drive to 55 goal two years early.
  • Tennessee has had the lowest three years of tuition increases in the last 40 years.
  • The number of students taking out student loans in Tennessee has decreased by 17 percent as a result of TNPromise and TNReconnect.
  • The state will invest $84.3M in new recurring dollars in higher education in 2019-20, a 5.3% increase over last fiscal year:
    • $56M of this will be distributed directly to Tennessee’s universities and community colleges
    • $4M will be distributed to the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology
  • Over the last five years, the state has invested over $500M in new recurring funds to higher education.
  • Tennessee also made significant investments in financial aid for students at public institutions in 2018:
    • Tennessee: $1,867 per FTE
    • National average: $666 per FTE
    • Regional average: $939 per FTE


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  • Kerry Roberts
    published this page in About 2019-10-29 09:50:24 -0500